RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: We compared observer performance in the interpretation of radiographs using an automated film masking and illuminating system (AFIS) with performance using standard radiographic viewing equipment. METHODS: Observer performance was compared in three ways. In the first method, a radiographic pattern of vertical bars of varying conspicuity was shown to 11 subjects with use of the two different viewing systems. Subjects were not allowed to use a brightlight or handle the film. We then performed a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) study to compare observer accuracy in detection of low-contrast targets. ROC methodology was also used in the third portion of our study to compare the accuracy of interpretation of cervical spine radiographs by six radiologists. In both the second and third portions of our study, film handling and use of a bright-light was permitted to simulate clinical circumstances. RESULTS: As a group, observers performed significantly better using the AFIS in the first (P < .001) and second (P < .05) portions of our study. There was no significant difference in performance in interpretation of cervical spine radiographs between the two viewing systems. CONCLUSION: The AFIS enhanced low-contrast perception, but further research is needed to determine its ideal clinical applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging