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Evaluating radiographic parameters for mobile chest computed radiography: phantoms, image quality and effective dose

Evaluating radiographic parameters for mobile chest computed radiography: phantoms, image quality and effective dose

Medical Physics 30(10): 2727-2735

Conventional chest radiography is technically difficult because of wide variations in tissue attenuations in the chest and limitations of screen-film systems. Mobile chest radiography, performed bedside on hospital inpatients, presents additional difficulties due to geometric and equipment limitations inherent in mobile x-ray procedures and the severity of illness in the patients. Computed radiography (CR) offers a different approach for mobile chest radiography by utilizing a photostimulable phosphor. Photostimulable phosphors overcome some image quality limitations of mobile chest imaging, particularly because of the inherent latitude. Because they are more efficient in absorbing lower-energy x-rays than rare-earth intensifying screens, this study evaluated changes in kVp for improving mobile chest CR. Three commercially available systems were tested, with the goal of implementing the findings clinically. Exposure conditions (kVp and grid use) were assessed with two acrylic-and-aluminum chest phantoms which simulated x-ray attenuation for average-sized and large-sized adult chests. These phantoms contained regions representing the lungs, heart and subdiaphragm to allow proper CR processing. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) measurements using different techniques were obtained for acrylic and aluminum disks (1.9 cm diameter) superimposed in the lung and heart regions of the phantoms, where the disk thicknesses (contrast) were determined from disk visibility. Effective doses to the phantoms were also measured for these techniques. The results indicated that using an 8:1, 33 lines/cm antiscatter grid improved the SNR by 60-300 % compared with nongrid images, depending on phantom and region; however, the dose to the phantom also increased by 400-600%. Lowering x-ray tube potential from 80 to 60 kVp improved the SNR by 30-40%, with a corresponding increase in phantom dose of 40-50%. Increasing the potential from 80 to 100 kVp reduced both the SNR and the phantom dose by approximately 10%. The most promising changes in technique for trial in clinical implementation include using an antiscatter grid, especially for large patients, and potentially increasing kVp.

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Accession: 048990947

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PMID: 14596311

DOI: 10.1118/1.1611291

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