Emerging Applications and Associated Requirements for Color Reproduction Accuracy in Medical Imaging


Louis D. Silverstein

(VCD Sciences, Inc.)

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Date: 04/05/2012


The use of color displays in medical imaging is growing as more clinical specialties use digital images as a resource in diagnosis and treatment decisions. Telemedicine applications such as telepathology, teledermatology and teleophthalmology rely heavily on color images. However, standard methods for calibrating, characterizing and profiling medical color displays do not exist, resulting in inconsistent presentation. To address this, we developed a calibration, characterization and profiling protocol for color‐critical medical imaging applications. Supporting analyses reveal very high color reproduction accuracy as determined by CIE DE2000 color differences for 210 test colors uniformly distributed in CIE Lab color space. The impact of the display tone‐reproduction curve on color reproduction accuracy is compared for two tone‐reproduction curves of special interest in medical imaging, the DICOM gray‐scale standard display function and the CIE L* standard lightness function. We report the results from a psychophysical investigation of the diagnostic performance of trained pathologists viewing “virtual” breast biopsy slides and compare the diagnostic performance achieved with calibrated, color‐managed LCDs with un‐calibrated LCDs without the benefits of color management.

Created: Thursday, April 5th, 2012