Artefacts on digital image receptors

Author(s): Debbie Saunders

Hospital: Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 41, 483, 13-15


It is important to ensure that all x-ray images are optimised to achieve sufficient clinical image quality while keeping patient doses as low as reasonably practicable. Equipment performance, radiographic technique and equipment faults can all affect the balance between image quality and patient dose in any imaging modality.

The presence of artefacts can compromise image quality and may lead to increases in patient dose, repeat exposures and misdiagnoses. This article will illustrate and discuss several types of artefacts that can occur on digital image receptors in a general diagnostic radiology department. Any artefacts should be investigated, with particular attention paid to those that are visible on clinical images. Many artefacts are noticed during quality assurance that are too subtle to be apparent on clinical images. It is still important that these artefacts are investigated as this could indicate a system deterioration that can be rectified before clinical images are affected or that clinical information is being obscured by the artefact.

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