The use of X-ray image receptors that produce a digital image is becoming increasingly important. Possible benefits include improved dynamic range and detective quantum efficiency, improved detectability for objects of low intrinsic contrast, and reduced radiation dose. The image can be available quickly. The display is separated from the image capture so that processing and contrast adjustment are possible before the image is viewed. The availability of a digital image means ready input into PACS and opens up the possibility of computer-aided detection and classification of abnormality. Possible drawbacks of digital systems include high cost, limited high contrast resolution and the fact that their clinical value is sometimes not proven in comparison with conventional, analogue techniques. The high contrast resolution attainable with such systems is discussed and the problem of sampling limitations and aliasing considered. The properties and limitations of digital systems using computed radiography, caesium iodide plus CCDs and active matrix arrays with either caesium iodide or selenium detectors are demonstrated. Examples are given of digital systems for mammography and general radiography and their performance is demonstrated in terms of clinical assessment and measurements of the modulation transfer function and detective quantum efficiency.


Digital radiology mammography chest radiology 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Dance
    • 1
  1. 1.Joint Dep. of PhysicsInstitute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK

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