Radiologist evaluation of a multispectral image compression algorithm for magnetic resonance images

Patrick T. Cahill, Thomas Vullo, Jian Hong Hu, Yao Wang, Michael D.F. Deck, Rene Manzo, Karen Weingarten, John A. Markisz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the advent of teleradiology and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), the expense and time required for image transmission and long term image archiving become important. The use of validated image compression algorithms can greatly reduce these costs. A lossy, multispectral image compression scheme at compression ratios (CR) of 25:1 and 32:1 was used for a set of 26 different patient MR exams. The original and compressed/decompressed (CD) image sets were evaluated in a blinded fashion by four radiologists in two phases. The main objective was to determine whether radiologic interpretation would vary between the two types of CD image sets and the corresponding originals. In general, the compression algorithm caused a slight decrease in image quality; however, the interpretation of pathology did not change between the original and CD image sets. In only one case at the maximum CR = 32 did one of four radiologists change the interpretation of pathology after CD. In this study, lossy multispectral image compression of MR images at CR = 25 maintained diagnostic integrity. This could play a significant role in image storage and communications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Digital Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1998


  • Image compression
  • Image quality
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Science Applications


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