Background: Large files produced by standard compression algorithms slow down spread of digital and tele-echocardiography. We validated echocardiographic video high-grade compression with the new Motion Pictures Expert Groups (MPEG)-4 algorithms with a multicenter study. Methods: Seven expert cardiologists blindly scored (5-point scale) 165 uncompressed and compressed 2-dimensional and color Doppler video clips, based on combined diagnostic content and image quality (uncompressed files as references). One digital video and 3 MPEG-4 algorithms (WM9, MV2, and DivX) were used, the latter at 3 compression levels (0%, 35%, and 60%). Results: Compressed file sizes decreased from 12 to 83 MB to 0.03 to 2.3 MB (1:1051-1:26 reduction ratios). Mean SD of differences was 0.81 for intraobserver variability (uncompressed and digital video files). Compared with uncompressed files, only the DivX mean score at 35% (P = .04) and 60% (P = .001) compression was significantly reduced. At subcategory analysis, these differences were still significant for gray-scale and fundamental imaging but not for color or second harmonic tissue imaging. Original image quality, session sequence, compression grade, and bitrate were all independent determinants of mean score. Conclusions: Our study supports use of MPEG-4 algorithms to greatly reduce echocardiographic file sizes, thus facilitating archiving and transmission. Quality evaluation studies should account for the many independent variables that affect image quality grading.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography|
|Publication status||Published - May 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine