AZ Health Systems

Arizona digital x-ray

True Digital Radiography vs. Computed Radiography

Digital X-Ray Education CR vs DR, Computed Radiography (CR) is distinguished from True Digital Radiography (DR). CR and DR have many similarities. Both CR and DR use a medium to capture x-ray energy and both produce a digital image that can be enhanced for soft copy diagnosis or further review. Only DR can present an image within seconds of exposure.

CR involves the use of a cassette that houses the imaging plate – similar to traditional film x-ray systems – to record the image. CR is slower than DR and has less resolution with a similar dose. This means more x-ray radiation is required to obtain the same quality image. This is particularly important in x-raying children and adolescents.

The image recorded in the cassette can degrade up to 15% in the time it takes to process the cassette – even more if there is a delay in processing.

True Digital Radiography immediately captures the image directly onto a flat panel detector without the use of a cassette.

True Digital Radiography utilizes lower dose for a comparable image than CR.

  • True Digital Radiography has greater sensitivity than CR meaning lower levels of radiation. On an identical exam, a CR radiation dosage is up to four times greater than True Digital Radiography.
  • True Digital Radiography is more efficient and significantly faster than CR. DR allows a higher throughput of patients each day.
  • True Digital Radiography has better performance in resolution and image quality than CR.
  • True Digital Radiography transfers the X-ray directly to a digital signal. CR gets the X-ray image transferred to the plate, and from the plate, to the reader.
  • A True Digital Radiography image is dynamic. A CR image by definition is very much like a static film image. (Although you can manipulate the image in CR, you will face limitations on how CR data is used with advanced applications).
  • True Digital Radiography is new technology. CR is older technology.
  • Advanced True Digital Radiography technology provides less radiation and wider dynamic range when compared to CR.
  • In a recent study the True Digital Radiography system image quality proved to be far superior to CR in particular for low contrast details. This means better diagnostic accuracy.
  • True Digital flat panel detector demonstrated significantly better image quality with respect to contrast and detail detectability at a dose reduction of 87% compared with CR.
  • The image quality of CR is similar to that of True Digital Radiography only at high dose levels.

(Excerpt from Coastal X-Ray)

Important Links:

Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency

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