An overview of digital compression of medical images: can we use lossy image compression in radiology?
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The increasing volume of data generated by new imaging modalities such as multislice computed tomography scanners and magnetic resonance imaging justifies the use of lossy compression techniques to decrease the cost of storage and improve the efficiency of transmission over networks for teleradiology or for access to electronic patient records. We summarize here the most commonly used compression techniques and compare their main features. Having conducted an extensive literature review, we present a range of average compression ratios for different modalities and body parts. This article lays the groundwork for further evaluation with standardized statistical methods to ultimately elaborate acceptable compression guidelines.
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