Current clinical practice is rapidly moving in the direction of volumetric imaging. For two-dimensional (2D) images, task-based medical image quality is often assessed using numerical model observers. For three- dimensional (3D) images, however, these models have been little explored so far. In this work, first, two novel designs of a multislice channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) are proposed for the task of detecting 3D signals in 3D images. The novel designs are then compared and evaluated in a simulation study with five different CHO designs: a single-slice model, three multislice models, and a volumetric model. Four different random background statistics are considered, both Gaussian (noncorrelated and correlated Gaussian noise) and non-Gaussian (lumpy and clustered lumpy backgrounds). Overall, the results show that the volumetric model outperforms the others, while the disparity between the models decreases for greater complexity of the detection task. Among the multislice models, the second proposed CHO could most closely approach the volumetric model, whereas the first new CHO seems to be least affected by the number of training samples.
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