Preference and Perception of Enhanced Images During Endonasal Endoscopic Surgery

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Image enhancement is used widely in endoscopic sinonasal surgery. It is yet to be established whether image enhancement has advantages over white-light endoscopy. The authors aimed to evaluate the preferences and subjective visual perception of image enhancement in diagnostic images acquired at the beginning of endonasal endoscopic surgeries. An online survey consisting of 12 endoscopic images, 4 enhanced with Clara mode, 4 enhanced with Chroma mode, and 4 enhanced with Clara+Chroma mode, was distributed. The enhanced images were randomly presented with nonenhanced white-light images. These images were captured at the beginning of endonasal endoscopic surgeries for septal perforation, septal deviation, and chronic rhinosinusitis. Survey respondents (n = 205) included 81 otorhinolaryngologists, 94 other specialty physicians (35 endoscopy/laparoscopy users and 59 nonusers), and 30 nonmedical image experts. They were asked to choose superior images according to brightness, contrast and sharpness, depth of field, and overall preference. A quantitative study was also conducted to evaluate different enhancement modes. The authors found that Clara enhanced brightness and Chroma enhanced contrast and sharpness significantly (P < 0.001). Overall, 91.8% chose Clara and 91.7% chose Clara+Chroma-enhanced images for brightness enhancement. For contrast and sharpness, 87% chose Clara+Chroma and 86.7% chose Chroma. There was no significant difference between perception scores among the groups. Our survey group showed a significantly high overall preference for enhanced images. This preference was independent of profession or experience, but closely related to the quantitative enhancement of the specific mode. Continuous use of image enhancement in endonasal surgery may have advantages over white-light endoscopy.

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