Direct detector radiography versus dual reading computed radiography: feasibility of dose reduction in chest radiography
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The image quality of dual-reading computed radiography and dose-reduced direct radiography of the chest was compared in a clinical setting. The study group consisted of 50 patients that underwent three posteroanterior chest radiographs within minutes, one image obtained with a dual read-out computed radiography system (CR; Fuji 5501) at regular dose and two images with a flat panel direct detector unit (DR; Diagnost, Philips). The DR images were obtained with the same and with 50% of the dose used for the CR images. Images were evaluated in a blinded side-by-side comparison. Eight radiologists ranked the visually perceivable difference in image quality using a three-point scale. Then, three radiologists scored the visibility of anatomic landmarks in low and high attenuation areas and image noise. Statistical analysis was based on Friedman tests and Wilcoxon rank sum tests at a significance level of P<0.05. DR was judged superior to CR for the delineation of structures in high attenuation areas of the mediastinum even when obtained with 50% less dose (P<0.001). The visibility of most pulmonary structures was judged equivalent with both techniques, regardless of acquisition dose and speed level. Scores for image noise were lower for DR compared with CR, with the exception of DR obtained at a reduced dose. Thus, in this clinical preference study, DR was equivalent or even superior to the most modern dual read-out CR, even when obtained with 50% dose. A further dose reduction does not appear to be feasible for DR without significant loss of image quality.
KeywordsDigital radiography Chest radiography Image quality Comparative study Dose reduction
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