A Comparison of Digital and Analog Radiology

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The debate over the best type of radiology, analog or digital, is ongoing as new improvements along with new problems and concerns continue to fuel the fire. Analog and Digital, both have their own share of positive and negative aspects. Here, we will look at the three types of radiology that can be used in modern vet clinics, and describe the “pros” and “cons” of each type. The three types are: Digital Radiology, Computed Radiology, and Analog Radiology.

Digital radiology, or DR, refers to a computer-based form of X-ray technology that uses digital imaging instead of traditional X-ray film to create medical images. It requires the use of new x-ray machines built with a digital detector. (Degree Dictionary) This allows an image to be taken, much like with a digital camera and projected on a computer screen. There are two types of digital imaging devices that can be used; flat panel detectors and High Density Line Scan Solid State detectors. Each one uses radiation. However, each has different imaging processes. (Degree Dictionary) Computed radiography, or CR, uses photostimulate phosphor plates to obtain digital images. This type of radiology stores the images on a plate with phosphors that are activated and retained when the image is taken. A laser then scans the plate, which is converted to digital format. The results are fed directly into a computer for viewing. (Karr, 2008) Traditional radiology, also known as film screen or analog, stores images on a photographic plate. This works by an X-ray tube generating a beam of X-rays, which is aimed at the patient. The X-rays are filtered through a device called an X-ray filter and strike an undeveloped film, which is held tightly to a screen of light-emitting phosphors in ...

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