Keywords:  lossy, compression

In the context of medical imaging, 'lossy' describes any compression method where some of the original image is lost when an image is reconstructed from the compressed data. The goal of lossy compression is to deliver a reconstructed image that is usable for its intended purpose (rather than an exact duplicate of the original).

Lossy compression methods have better compression ratios then lossless compression methods, but in general, lossy compression ratios greater than about 10 or 15 to 1 will result in visible artifacts in the decompressed image.

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