Image quality and dose comparison among screen-film, computed, and CT scanned projection radiography: Applications to CT urography

C. H. McCollough, M. R. Bruesewitz, T. J. Vrtiska, B. F. King, A. J. Leroy, J. P. Quam, R. R. Hattery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate image quality and dose for abdominal imaging techniques that could be used as part of a computed tomographic (CT) urographic examination: screen-film (S-F) radiography or computed radiography (CR), performed with moving and stationary grids, and CT scanned projection radiography (CT SPR). MATERIALS AND METHODS: An image quality phantom underwent imaging with moving and stationary grids with both a clinical S-F combination and CR plate. CT SPR was performed with six CT scanners at various milliampere second and kilovolt peak settings. Entrance skin exposure (ESE); spatial, contrast, and temporal resolutions; geometric accuracy; and artifacts were assessed. RESULTS: S-F or CR images, with either grid, provided image quality equivalent to that with the clinical standard, S-F with a moving grid. ESE values for both S-F and CR were 435 mR (112.2 μC/kg [1 mR = 0.258 μC/kg]) with a moving grid and 226 mR (58.3 μC/kg) with a stationary grid. All CT SPR images provided inferior spatial resolution compared with S-F or CR images. High-contrast objects generated substantial artifacts on CT SPR images. Compared with S-F, CR and CT SPR provided improved resolution of small low-contrast objects. The contrast between iodine and soft-tissue-mimicking structures on CT SPR images acquired at 80 kVp was twice that at 120 kVp. CT SPR images with acceptable noise levels required a midline ESE value of approximately 300 mR (77.4 μC/kg) at 80 kVp. CONCLUSION: S-F and CR provided better spatial resolution than did CT SPR. However, CT SPR provided improved low-contrast resolution compared with S-F, at exposures comparable to those used for S-F or CR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Computed tomography (CT), technology
  • Radiography, technology
  • Screens and films
  • Urography, technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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