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An optimisation strategy in a digital environment applied to neonatal chest imaging.

Journal article
Authors Jonny Hansson
Magnus Båth
Markus Håkansson
Håkan Grundin
Elisabeth Bjurklint
Pia Orvestad
Annette Kjellström
Håkan Boström
M Jönsson
Kenneth Jonsson
Lars Gunnar Månsson
Published in Radiation protection dosimetry
Volume 114
Issue 1-3
Pages 278-85
ISSN 0144-8420
Publication year 2005
Published at Institute of Selected Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Pages 278-85
Language en
Keywords Animals, Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Infant, Newborn, Phantoms, Imaging, Rabbits, Radiation Dosage, Radiographic Image Enhancement, methods, Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, methods, Radiography, Thoracic, instrumentation, methods, Radiology, methods, X-Ray Intensifying Screens
Subject categories Radiological physics, Radiology


The aim of this study was to find the optimum tube voltage for neonatal chest imaging in computed radiography. The study was designed to take full advantage of the benefits of digital imaging, for example, by comparing the tube voltages at constant effective dose. A phantom study using a living rabbit was first conducted. Images were collected at tube voltages ranging from 40 to 90 kV(p). The reproduction of four structures (central vessels, peripheral vessels, carina and thoracic vertebrae) was rated by 10 radiologists. The reproduction of both central and peripheral vessels was relatively independent of tube voltage. The carina was better reproduced at higher tube voltages whereas the opposite was true for the thoracic vertebrae. Based on the higher importance of the reproduction of the carina it was decided that 90 kV(p) was the optimal tube voltage. To validate the result from the phantom study, a follow-up study was conducted in which images of neonates collected at the tube voltage regularly used at Sahlgrenska University Hospital (70 kV(p)) were compared with images collected at the tube voltage proposed by the phantom study. The follow-up study confirmed the results from the phantom study that the reproduction of the carina was better at 90 than at 70 kV(p). In conclusion, for neonatal chest imaging-given the same effective dose-90 kVp gives better reproduction of important structures than the regularly used 70 kV(p).

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