Free software for performing physical analysis of systems for digital radiography and mammography

Bruno Donini, Stefano Rivetti, Nico Lanconelli, Marco Bertolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In this paper, the authors present a free software for assisting users in achieving the physical characterization of x-ray digital systems and image quality checks. Methods: The program was developed as a plugin of a well-known public-domain suite ImageJ. The software can assist users in calculating various physical parameters such as the response curve (also termed signal transfer property), modulation transfer function (MTF), noise power spectra (NPS), and detective quantum efficiency (DQE). It also includes the computation of some image quality checks: defective pixel analysis, uniformity, dark analysis, and lag. Results: The software was made available in 2009 and has been used during the last couple of years by many users who gave us valuable feedback for improving its usability. It was tested for achieving the physical characterization of several clinical systems for digital radiography and mammography. Various published papers made use of the outcomes of the plugin. Conclusions: This software is potentially beneficial to a variety of users: physicists working in hospitals, staff working in radiological departments, such as medical physicists, physicians, engineers. The plugin, together with a brief user manual, are freely available and can be found online ( downloads.htm). With our plugin users can estimate all three most important parameters used for physical characterization (MTF, NPS, and also DQE). The plugin can run on any operating system equipped with ImageJ suite. The authors validated the software by comparing MTF and NPS curves on a common set of images with those obtained with other dedicated programs, achieving a very good agreement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051903
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • detective quantum efficiency
  • digital mammography
  • digital radiology
  • modulation transfer function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Medicine(all)


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