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Aspects of Diagnostic X-ray Imaging: Improvements in Image Quality and Implications for Radiation Dose

Issue: Vol.2, No.2 - January 2003

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Article Type: Manuscript

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  1. Dr Donald McLean
    Senior Lecturer, School of Medical Radiation Sciences, University of Sydney

Radiographic image has been a valuable tool in medical diagnosis and has been at the forefront of technological change during the 105 years of its existence. Currently we are experiencing a rapid development in the technology of image receptors and the transfer of subsequent digital images using information technology.

History has shown that unbridled technological advance can lead to an unfortunate record in terms of image quality and patient safety1. Recognition this has lead to development of quality assurance practices in radiology, particularly seen in the sub-specialty of mammography. The development of reference standards and levels for image quality and patient dose has allowed the use of uniformly high standard in these areas.

Of current concern is the impact of digital image techniques, primarily CT and interventional procedures, which now contribute over 50% of the dose to the population in developed countries. These concerns need to be addressed with the implementation of quality assurance programs that include the measurement and monitoring of such techniques, as well as image quality measures, as new technical developments become available.

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