Tube & Grid Alignment Necessary to Improve Portable Image Quality
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Grid usage in portable radiography is often sporadic and inconsistent. This causes greater variability in image quality, and a greater number of radiographs of poorer quality than those captured in the radiology department being delivered for interpretation.
From the perspective of the radiographic technologist, using grids for portable exams involves a variety of time-consuming workflow implications:
- Attaching and detaching the add-on grids to the X-ray detector.
- The stringent requirements to properly position and align the X-ray source relative to the detector behind the patient to avoid grid cutoff.
- The increased probability that repeated exposures will be required due to grid-cutoff artifact.
In addition, there is the misperception that grids are not required in digital radiography because increasing the exposure can overcome the scatter-noise level, and that image processing adjustments, such as window and level manipulations, can sufficiently compensate for the quality losses that are introduced by scattered radiation. With all of these considerations in mind, there would seem to be little motivation for the technologists to use grids in portable digital radiography.
However, anti-scatter grids improve radiography image quality, and the benefit of grid usage can be realized in digital radiography with less exposure technique increments. These benefits can be achieved without disrupting technologist workflow with the Tube and Grid Alignment (TGA) System for the DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray System. Our TGA provides easy and intuitive guidance for X-ray-source alignment relative to the grid-detector to achieve consistent and optimal image quality–no additional operational steps are required.
Staff members at Hamilton General Hospital have experienced how the optional Tube and Grid Alignment System for the CARESTREAM DRX-Revolution has impacted technologist efficiency and image quality: