AutoQA Plus CT Catphan

New Application Highlights
  • Designed  for simple and intuitive navigation 
  • Pass/Fail performance evaluation
  • User can create Report Profiles to control Pass/Fail limits, output of images, overlays and graphs 
  • Instant trend analysis using our  HTML ‘Trend Report Links’
  • Reports available in HTML and PDF formats
  • Support local date and number formats
  • Multiple language support
  • Simple database export to Excel
  • Supports compressed and enhanced DICOM images
  • Self-service option for offline license activation
Image Quality Parameters Evaluated
  • Pixel size (geometric distortion)
  • CT Number Linearity (Sensitometry) 
  • Slice Thickness
  • Patient Alignment System and Table Movement Accuracy
  • Spatial resolution (MTF)
  • Image Uniformity and Noise 
  • Uniformity Index
  • Contrast Detail (Low Contrast Detectability)
  • Low Contrast - Contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) (Catphan 600, 700)
  • Slice Sensitivity Profile (SSP)
  • Phantoms: Catphan CTP700, CTP605, CTP604, CTP600, CTP500, CTP504(Varian), CTP503 (Elekta), CTP410, CTP411, CTP549

AutoSelection Screen - One image per Catphan Phantom module section  - Catphan 600 CT
P528 two images selected - Resolution gauge and bead image 10 mm off axis from resolution gauge.

Standard Processing Features

  • Pixel Size – verifies the expected pixel size using the measured distance between four pins (3 air, 1 Teflon) in Catphan® sections CTP401 and CTP404. Measurement not supported by Catphan 700.
  • CT Linearity (Sensitometry) – A least squares fit for the mean CT numbers and the attenuation coefficients is calculated for 20 energies (40-140 keV), the keV with the minimum variance is selected as the effective beam energy.
  • Slice Thickness – The full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) of the CT number profile for each wire or bead ramp is measured. A trigonometric conversion is calculated based on the known ramp angle to yield the slice thickness.
  • Patient Alignment System and Table Movement  Accuracy – assessed from the slice thickness opposing wire angled ramps. The slice thickness test outputs the Table Position Offset; the z-axis offset. 
  • Spatial Resolution (MTF) – The modulation transfer function (MTF) is calculated from the discrete Fourier transform of the average vertical and horizontal LSF’s of the point spread function for a wire or bead impulse source. The program reports the 50%, 10% and 2% MTF values.  
  • Image Uniformity and Noise – Uniformity is calculated from regions of interest (ROI) positioned over a uniformity phantom section. Five ROI’s are defined: one at the phantom center and the other four along the axes at the same radius.  Uniformity is the maximum absolute difference between the center and peripheral ROI means. Noise is calculated from one centered ROI, 40% of the phantom diameter, following the IEC guidelines for noise.
  • Uniformity Index– Vertical and horizontal profiles 10 pixels wide are generated passing through the phantom’s center. The fractional uniformity of the profile is calculated as the percentage of the pixels within an acceptable range determined by the mean  + 2 times the central noise or + 10H, whichever is smaller. 
  • Contrast Detail (Low Contrast Detectability) – The Contrast-Detail curve data is calculated using the measured noise sampled at the center of the low contrast module (CTP263 or CTP515).
  • Low Contrast - CNR measurements for the low contrast supra-slice targets (5-15mm) in the CTP515 module
  • SSP (Slice sensitivity profile) - FWHM processing of an impulse source (bead) in a series of sequential axial or helical images

Trend Analysis Reports

  • Auto populates the hospital names and CT serial numbers
  • Provides a thumbnail list of all the unique data sets based on the scan parameters used for easy selection
  • User defined baseline values by either selecting the option for averaging the first 5, 10 or manually select data records or entering an arbitrary baseline
  • User selects tolerances from a list of operators; + %, + , >, <, =
  • Trend graphs provided of key fields
  • Exportable reports to Microsoft’s Excel including trend graphs

Trend Analysis - Click icon on HTML report positioned next to each CT linearity sample.

Minimum System Requirements; Windows 8, 1 Ghz processor, 4 GB RAM, Microsoft .NET 4.6

CT AutoQA Lite Release information
v3.1.5.11 release (March 2019)
  • Added support for patient names that exceed 64 characters, will only read and store the first 64 characters.
  • Siemens Axiom Artis CBCT DICOM images - added support when FOV, table position and gantry DICOM fields are missing or blank.
  • Moved 'AutoQA' and 'QA' user data folder from ProgramData folder to User[name]/AppData/Roaming folder.  'Images' folder is located in 'AutoQA' folder as in prior releases.
v3.1.5.10 release (June 2018)
  • Catphan 504 and Catphan 604 - Slice thickness processing correction for the right wire ramp measurement.  Shorter sampling and different start location needed for right ramp due nearby CT linearity plug.  Didn't update start location in prior versions.  Applied similar processing to right ramp of the Catphan 504 right wire ramp
v3.1.5.9 release (June 2017)
  • Updated list of Image Type (0008,0008) that identify localizer or scout images, which are excluded from the processing list of images
  • Catphan 604 manual MTF error - there were two beads listed in the phantom description file, only one bead is needed
  • Trend Reporting - Catphan 700 linearity 'water' was not available in the list of materials, 11 trend curves were not displayed.  Both issues corrected.
  • Now Support image folders with different image matrices in the same or different phantom studies
v3.1.5.8 release (June 2017)
  • ACR Phantom - resolution gauge processing, changed angle of ROI sampling high contrast resolution gauges
v3.1.5.7 release (September 2016)
  • CNR (#24) Background value used for CNR is the average of three background samples, each one is adjacent to the 15 mm target for each contrast level
  • CNR (#24) Reduced the background sample diameter from 14 mm to 10 mm for the Catpha700
  • Fixed AutoSelect function for the Catphan 700 phantom
  • Fixed problem with the saved PDF report file, when the CNR test results are displayed  last with the last line of data is missing
  • Catphan 604 now supported, AutoSelect function selects single slice per module
  • Catphan 605 now supported
  • Angiography CBCT images (XA) now supported (Options/Allow XA uncompressed images )
  • Added CNR test (#24) to Catphan 504 phantom configuration
  • Corrected the scan mode displayed on the image file listing and in the QALite results page.
  • Scan mode field added to the scan parameters string (axial, Nornal-CT or helical) which now allows scan date to be sorted by scan mode for Trend Analysi
  • AutoFind first module center function enabled when series exceed 20 images
v3.1.5 release (February 2015)
  • Images with non-standard matrices (e.g. 384 x 384) when processed where multiple files are located in the selected image folder now supported.
  • 'Bead' or 'Wire' was added to the scan parameters in the slicethk.dbf and resolut.dbf files when bead was used for the MTF test #4 and Slice Thickness test #16 and wire was used for MTF test# 21 and Slice Thickness Test # 2.
  • Updated the AutoSelect function for Catphan 600; the 'Autoselect' was not picking the correct slice from CTP528; the solitary bead  10mm offset from the gauge and 80mm offset from the CTP404 module center, not picking the uniformity slice from CTP486 160mm from CTP404 module center,  Catphan 500; not picking the solitary bead 10mm offset from the gauge and 40mm from CTP404 module center, also picking an extra slice from uniformity module CTP486 40mm offset from center.
  • Device serial number DICOM data element (0018,1000) if not present,  instead of  adding ‘unknown’  the Station Name tag (0008,1010) is used as the device serial number for the SN locations in reports and the database SN field.
  • A modification has been implemented for the Slice Width measurements using the wire ramps under specific conditions – that is noise and expected slice width dependent.  Noise (sampled in center CTP404) dependent profile smoothing has now been included in our processing algorithm. The impact of this change is seen in typically slice thickness 1.0 – 1.25 mm where the range of change was +3.8% to +16.8% for 1.0 mm slice and +8.8% to +16.8% for 1.25 mm slice. In all cases the image noise (SD) is > 10HU.  The following conditions for the profile smoothing are defined below;
    • Noise < 6.0 = no smoothing
    • Noise > 6.0 and < 10.0 smoothing is Expected SW dependent
      • > 1.0 mm and < 2.0 mm = 1 smoothing cycles
      • > 2.0 mm and < 4.0 mm = 2 smoothing cycles
      • > 4.0 mm = 4 smoothing cycles
    • Noise > 10.0 smoothing is Expected SW dependent
      • < 1.0mm = no smoothing
      • > 1.0 mm and <2.0 mm = 1 smoothing cycle
      • > 2.0 and  < 4.0 mm = 4 smoothing cycles
      • > 4.0 mm = 8 smoothing cycles
  • Expanded phantom/patient listing now includes a breakdown by series available by clicking the check box ‘Sort Images by Series’ found below DICOM Directory listing.
  • Support DICOM files names up to 116 characters in length which can also include brackets [ ].
  • Expanded the energy range for CT contrast scale/effective energy calculations from 15 (40-100 keV) to 20 energies (40-140keV)
  • A new test was added that supports the IEC noise and uniformity measurements.  The current noise test (#5) remains implemented for Catphan 410, 411 and 412 models using the default values for a square 15x15 pixel ROI at center and 4 peripheral locations on axis 50mm from center.  This is the setup that has always been used for these phantoms.  For all other phantoms Test#5 has been turned off and Test#14 is now implemented.  The database file associated with the output for Test#14 when doing Trend Analysis will be ACRnoise.dbf. If the user prefers to not use  test #14  and turn on Test#5 the phantom configuration files for your phantom can be modified. See our Technical notes page for details on this modification. The new test (#14) Image Uniformity generates 6 circular ROI’s; one at center 40% of phantom diameter which reports the noise, the other 5 are 10% of phantom diameter positioned at the center and approximately 1 cm from phantom edge on axis.  These 5 ROI’s report the mean/noise(SD) and calculate the image uniformity, the peripheral ROI and center ROI mean difference. The sizes and locations of the ROI's used can be modified if necessary.  See the Phantom File Description File included with the new 3.1.4 Operators manual.
  • Images with a 196.5 mm FOV (< phantom 200mm diameter) were considered targeted images would only process the images from CTP591 or CTP528 for the MTF measurements.  This issue has been seen with Toshiba's images when the DFOV is set to 200 mm.  These images will now process all phantom configured tests.
  • Exclude Toshiba Aquilion localizer images (image type OriginalPrimaryLocalizier) from the image selection list.
  • No longer search for the water sample used in the Catphan 600.  The sample size is a problem when the vial is not completely full. 
V3.1.01 release 1d (3.19.2013)
  • Modified Noise test and Noise/Uniformity test to support IEC requirements which supports different size ROI’s for the center sample and the peripheral samples, with either square or circular ROI’s
  • Increased the scale for the CT number axis on the CT contrast scale graph to include air and Teflon
  • Updated attenuation coefficients for all Catphan phantoms (except CTP424) due to change in density values recommended by the Phantom Laboratory. Changed attenuation coefficients; Bone50%, Bone20%, Teflon, Polystyrene, Delrin, Lung materials

Added water to the measured CT sensitometry materials in the Catphan 600 and 700 models

V3.1.01 release 1c (2.7.2013)
  • Corrected floating point error for Philips Brilliance 64 (version 4.0)
V3.1.01 release 1b (1.17.2013)
  • Supports Catphan 700 phantom analysis
  • Modified the slice width analysis (used in version prior to v3.1.01) for bead ramps for the CPT591 module in the Catphan 600 phantom by adjusting the threshold used for bead detection
  • IrisQA Reporting update includes option to save unique baseline and tolerances values for each CT scanner in the trend analysis database
  • Output vertical and horizontal uniformity profiles as text files
  • Automated processing for the Catphan 700 low contrast (CNR target measurements) and high contrast resolution modules
  • Added CNR - Low Contrast trend analysis to the IrisQA Reporting application for Catphan 700 users
  • Manual processing mode for MTF calculation
  • Slice sensitivity profile (SSP) manual processing mode
  • Tests results sorted by test name in addition to sort by slice order
  • Added window level display controls for thumbnail images
  • Introduced new trend analysis report function – ‘IrisQA Reporting’
  • Trend analysis allows user to define baseline and tolerances values
  • Improved ROI centering routine for CT sensitometry samples
  • Created data folder ‘AutoQA’ in ProgramData folder to store sample phantom images (Images),PDF report files (Test Reports) database files, text and screen output files created by QAlite
  • Replaced the USB software protection device with a software encrypted license
  • Supports DICOM image file names >100 characters
  • IrisQA Reporting updates includes Boolean operator correction for negative data values, ‘average all’ function fix and removed sort function from column data header

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