Does image processing make a real difference in image quality and dose for vulnerable, neonatal patients? It most certainly does, according to a recent study published in Pediatric Radiology.

“Low dose” = “right dose”

When we talk about “low dose”, we really mean “right dose”: making images with the diagnostic quality needed for correct interpretation, while using the lowest possible dose.

The Pediatric Radiology paper explains how image processing methods significantly impact perceived image quality, including diagnostic quality. The study showed that image processing protocols could be adapted to provide images with the same quality – at lower dose. In other words, don’t underestimate the impact of image processing on dose management and reduction!

A careful comparison

The study tested Agfa’s MUSICA Neonatal and another vendor’s image processing, both with the recommended settings for neonatal images. The same detector and X-ray source for the images were used to ensure that any image quality differences weren’t caused by the modalities.

Radiologists rated the neonatal images processed with MUSICA Neonatal higher for image quality, at the same effective dose. What’s more, only 7% of the MUSICA images were given a ‘non-diagnostic quality’ rating, compared to 19% of the images from the other image processing!

When matching, the radiologists also found that MUSICA Neonatal-processed images gave equivalent image quality at a lower effective dose than the other image processing.

The study concluded that image processing methods significantly impact perceived image quality, and that MUSICA Neonatal provides better diagnostic quality over a wider range of doses than the competitor’s image processing software.

Perhaps even more importantly, it showed that because of these image quality differences, protocols could be adapted to provide images with the same quality – at lower dose.

High-quality images at lower dose

So if you are looking to reduce imaging radiation dose for your vulnerable, neonatal patients – and that’s a goal we can all get behind! – pay close attention to your image processing.


MUSICA Neonatal

  • MUSICA Neonatal offers special, dedicated functions such as optimal balance of soft bone, lung and abdominal tissue in one neonatal image.
  • Body-part-independent, MUSICA offers consistently high image quality across CR and DR solutions.
  • It uses a multi-scale, layered representation of an image enabling simple and precise control over many aspects of your image’s look.
  • Using Fractional Multiscale Reconstruction (FMR) it presents grayscale differences in a more natural way, without artifacts, and eliminates the need for window leveling.


Read the Executive Summary of the report as published in Pediatric Radiology: