Detection of subtle abnormalities on chest radiographs after irreversible compression

Vladimir Savcenko, Bradley J Erickson, Patrice M. Palisson, Kenneth R. Persons, Armando Manduca, Thomas E. Hartman, Gordon F. Harms, Larry R. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To assess the effect of wavelet-based compression of posteroanterior chest radiographs on detection of small uncalcified pulmonary nodules and fibrosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Computed tomography (CT) of the chest was used to identify 20 patients with normal posteroanterior chest radiographs, 20 with a solitary uncalcified pulmonary nodule 1-2 cm in diameter, and 20 with fibrotic disease. A double-band protocol for readings of original images and images compressed at 40:1 and 80:1 was analyzed by using the nonparametric receiver operating characteristic to measure differences in diagnostic accuracy and their statistical significance. RESULTS: There was no substantial difference in the overall diagnostic accuracy (measured by the area under the curve index) for both nodules and fibrosus between images compressed at 40:1 and 80:1 and uncompressed images. Readers tended to perform better on images compressed at 40:1 compared with uncompressed images. The 'high-sensitivity' portion of the 80:1 compression curve for nodules was below that for the uncompressed curve, although this was not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Lossy compression of chest radiographs at 40:1 can be used without decreased diagnostic accuracy for detection of pulmonary nodules and fibrosis. There is no statistically significant difference in diagnostic accuracy at 80:1 compression, but detection ability is decreased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998



  • Images, storage and retrieval
  • Radiography, technology
  • Thorax, radiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Cite this

Savcenko, V., Erickson, B. J., Palisson, P. M., Persons, K. R., Manduca, A., Hartman, T. E., Harms, G. F., & Brown, L. R. (1998). Detection of subtle abnormalities on chest radiographs after irreversible compression. Radiology, 206(3), 609-616.