Effect of JPEG Compression on Diagnostic Accuracy

The resolution of a periapical radiograph is an important factor in diagnosing root fracture. Compressing a radiographic image can make electronic image storage and transmission more efficient but may reduce the quality. A study published in Dental Traumatology evaluated the effect of joint photographic experts group (JPEG) compression of radiographic images on the detection of root fractures. The study involved 10 dry human mandibles containing 151 teeth. The mandibles were radiographed with direct digital imaging using the paralleling technique. Four observers used one uncompressed format and 2 compressed format images to detect the root fracture, and the formats were analyzed to compare their performance and evaluate the effect of compression of the images. The study found that there was no statistically significant difference between the uncompressed format (tagged image file format) and the 2 compressed formats (JPEG medium and JPEG small file images) in terms of detecting root fracture. Comparison of the 4 observers found significant consistency in the detection of the fractures. These findings indicate that compressing an image, which considerably reduces the file size and is very beneficial for image electronic storage and transmission, does not affect the accuracy of detecting root fracture.
(Source: Noujeim M et al. "Effect of JPEG compression on the diagnostic accuracy of periapical images in the detection of root fracture." Dental Traumatology. 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-9657.2011.01076.x)