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Flashcards in factors affecting image quality Deck (21):
1

what is radiographic contrast?

CONTRAST (RADIOGRAPHIC) -
The range of densities (dark and light areas) visualized on a radiographic image.

2

what is definition?

DEFINITION (SHARPNESS) -
The ability of an imaging system to define the edges of structures or objects.

3

what is resolution?

RESOLUTION (DETAIL) -
The ability of an imaging system to demonstrate small structures.

4

for radiation beam factors what does exposure time change?

• Must be matched to patient and/or procedure
• “Standard” or “recommended” exposure times on dental x ray machines will work for the majority of patients, but some patients may need more or reduced exposure time to obtain an acceptable image
• Certain procedures will require longer exposure time (e.g. occlusals – adult patients)
• Overexposure may cause image to be too dark, underexposure will may cause image to be too light, sometimes to the point of the radiograph being unacceptable (THE GOOD NEWS – digital images can be “adjusted” after exposure, and images that initially appear “unacceptable” might be salvaged. Regardless, we should always strive to avoid using too high an exposure time to minimize patient dose)

5

what does the milliamperage do?

2. Milliamperage (tube current – number of electrons flowing from cathode to anode per unit of time)
• Has the same effect as exposure time; higher mA results in darker image; lower mA results in lighter image
• mA is fixed in most dental x ray machines

6

what does kV change? what is it?

3. kV (potential difference between cathode and anode at time of exposure)
• A higher kV will result in a darker image; higher potential difference results in higher kinetic energy of electrons flowing from cathode to anode; therefore, more electrons will enter into Bremsstrahlung interactions that will give rise to photons energetic enough to be x rays
• A higher kV will result in a more energetic, more penetrating x ray beam; more x rays will penetrate tissues/structures; the contrast
between radiopaque and radiolucent areas will be reduced

- effect on contrast - overall reduction in radiographic contrast

*Note that with the majority of dental x ray machines used for periapicals and bitewings, kV and mA are fixed, and we can only control the exposure time. It is important to understand, however, how kV and mA affect the final image, as your practice might use more specialized x ray equipment for which these factors can be adjusted.

7

what's the difference between high contrast and low contrast?

High contrast – very obvious difference in the darkest and lightest areas on the image – easier to differentiate radiopaque and radiolucent areas (lower kV)

Low contrast – differences in the darkest and lightest areas on the image are not as great – not as easy to differentiate radiopaque and radiolucent areas (higher kV)

8

other radiation beam factors are x-ray source, focal spot size, collimation and filtration. What do these do?

4. X ray source – image receptor distance
5. Focal spot size
• These two factors influence the manner in which the “shadow” is cast onto the film or image receptor (see below – “Rule for Accurate Shadow Casting”)
6. Collimation
• The main purpose of more tightly collimating the x ray beam is to reduce patient dose (less tissue exposed), but greater collimation will also reduce the amount of scatter radiation reaching the image receptor and will result in better contrast. However, this improvement in contrast is not always visually visually apparent.
7. Filtration
• Removes the lower energy photons that do not contribute to image production, thereby reducing patient dose
• A filtered beam will have fewer x rays than a comparable non-filtered beam, but the photons in a filtered beam will have greater average energy, and the beam will be more penetrating; filtration reduces radiographic contrast slightly, but not enough to affect radiographic quality significantly

9

what are the three absorbing material factors?

1. Thickness
2. Density
3. Atomic number

The greater any of these factors are, the more the x ray beam will be attenuated.

The greater these qualities of the tissue or object/structure being imaged, the more x rays will be attenuated, and the more “radiopaque’ the tissue/object/structure will appear on the final image
• Thickness of tissue – even soft tissue, if thick enough, can appear faintly radiopaque appearance compared to, for example, air; the thicker a tissue, the more x rays it will attenuate
• Density – soft tissue is denser than air, soft tissue is denser than fat; these differences may be noticeable on images conventional radiographic projections, but more so on images produced using computed tomography (CT)

10

what are the three image receptor factors for xray film?

a. “Speed” (senstivity to radiation)
• “Faster” films generally have less resolution and detail
• If a certain film is “faster” or has a higher “speed”, it means that it is more sensitive to x rays
• “Faster” films usually have greater silver bromide grain size, and this will result in lower definition and resolution
b. Storage
• Improper storage may cause increase in fog and reduced contrast
• If x ray film is stored in areas of high heat or humidity, or if it is subjected to stray radiation, fog (unwanted darkening) may result, and the contrast of the final image will be reduced
c. Age (e.g. outdated film)
• May have same effect as improper storage
• “Age fog” may be a problem if old or expired film is used; therefore, do not use expired film

*Proper storage of film (e.g. in refrigerator or freezer, away from possible x ray exposure) will prevent problems related to b) and c).

11

what are image receptor factors for film-screen systems?

Result in better radiographic contrast compared to "direct exposure" film
Not a major considerations now as film is used much less frequently
• Use of “film-screen” combinations (film enclosed in light-tight cassettes with intensifying screens) when producing film-based radiographs (i.e. panoramic radiographs, other “extraoral” radiographs) will yield images with greater contrast than what is capable with intraoral radiographic (direct exposure) film (i.e.. periapicals, bitewings, occlusals)
• Film-screen systems are rarely used now due to increased use of digital imaging

12

What are image receptors for digital image receptors?

3. Digital image receptor (phosphor plate or CMOS sensor)

a. resolution and sharpness not quite as good as film, but quite adequate for clinical needs
b. physical damage to plate/sensor will reduce quality of image
c. if plate improperly or incompletely erased, the “residual” image may reduce quality of next image that is made
(Either b. or c. can reduce quality of image from a digital system - see lecture on Digital Imaging)

13

how is resolution measured?

Resolution – measured by no. of line pairs/mm that can be observed

The more line pairs/mm. that can be detected, the better the resolution of the imaging system being used – more discussion in lecture on Digital Imaging...

14

What is processing factor for image quality?

For film-based imaging, a SIGNIFICANT factor in image quality
• Improper chemical processing of film will reduce radiographic quality - see lecture 6

15

what are 3 geometric problems which are always present on a projected image?

1. “Unsharpness”
2. Magnification
3. Distortion

These geometric problems are always present because:
 The focal spot is never a point
 X rays diverge from the focal spot
 Structures being imaged are three-dimensional; the image receptor is two-
dimensional

To some extent, these problems can be reduced for periapical radiography by using the paralleling technique and a longer distance between the x ray source and the object or the image receptor, usually by employing a longer PID on the x ray machine.

16

why are unsharpness, magnification, and distortion always present?

1. The focal spot is never a point.
2. X rays diverge from their source.
3. Structures being imaged are three-dimensional; the recording surface is two-dimensional.

17

what are the rules for accurate shadow casting (focal point, how do you improve this)?

1. THE FOCAL SPOT SHOULD BE AS SMALL AS POSSIBLE.
Penumbra reduced with smaller focal spot...the “angled” face of the anode reduces the “apparent” size of the focal spot (note effect of “angled” face of anode...)
The focal spot in our x ray machines is fairly small, but it does have a definite size. The “apparent” size of the focal spot can be reduced by angling the face of the anode (see “Properties and Production of X Rays” lecture). Also, if we use a longer distance between the x ray source and the object and image receptor, it “appears” that the focal spot is further away from the object and image receptor, and this will improve the quality of the image; e.g. slightly better definition.


18

what are the rules for accurate shadow casting (source object distance, how do you improve this)

2. THE SOURCE-OBJECT DISTANCE SHOULD BE AS LONG AS IS POSSIBLE OR PRACTICAL.

Penumbra reduced if focal spot further away (reduces size of “apparent” focal spot)

Source-object distance refers to the distance between the source of the x rays (i.e. focal spot in on the anode) and the object being imaged. For periapical radiographs, using the paralleling technique and a longer distance between the x ray source and the object and image receptor will ensure better adherence to this “rule”.

19

what are the rules for accurate shadow casting (object image receptor, how do you improve this)

3. THE OBJECT-IMAGE RECEPTOR DISTANCE SHOULD BE AS SHORT AS IS POSSIBLE OR PRACTICAL.
Penumbra reduced if object closer to film.

When using the paralleling technique, we frequently do not get the image receptor close to the “object” (i.e. tooth). How do we maintain image quality?
We use a relatively long distance between the x ray source and the object or image receptor, usually by employing a long PID.

20

what are the rules for accurate shadow casting (central ray, how do you improve this)

4. THE CENTRAL X RAY SHOULD BE PERPENDICULAR TO BOTH THE LONG AXIS OF THE PLANE OF THE RECORDING SURFACE AND THE LONG AXIS OF THE OBJECT.

21

what are the rules for accurate shadow casting (object and recording surface)?

5. THE LONG AXIS OF THE OBJECT SHOULD BE PARALLEL TO THE PLANE OF THE RECORDING SURFACE.

We try to follow these last two “rules” as closely as possible when we use the paralleling technique to take periapical radiographs.