[Balance of required dose and image quality in digital radiography]

M. Uffmann, C. Schaefer-Prokop and U. Neitzel

Radiologe 2008;48(3):249-257.


Projection radiography is in an advanced stage of progressive transition from conventional screen-film imaging to digital image acquisition modalities. The radiographic technique, including examination parameters such as tube voltage, tube current and filtration has frequently been adopted from screen-film technology. Digital systems, however, are characterized by their flexibility as the dose can be reduced at the expense of image quality and vice versa. The imaging parameters need to be individually optimized according to the best performance of a system. The traditional means of dose adjustment, such as positioning and collimation, are as valid for digital techniques as they were for conventional techniques. Digital techniques increasingly offer options for dose reduction. At the same time there is a risk to accidentally substantially increase patient dose due to the lack of visual control. Therefore, the implementation of dose indicators and dose monitoring is mandatory for digital radiography. The use of image quality classes according to the dose requirements of given clinical indications are a further step towards modern radiation protection.