Low-dose radiography of scoliosis in children: a comparison of methods

Kalmar, John A., Jones, Jerome P. and Merritt, Christopher R.B. (1994) Low-dose radiography of scoliosis in children: a comparison of methods. Spine, 19 7: 818-823. doi:10.1097/00007632-199404000-00016

Author Kalmar, John A.
Jones, Jerome P.
Merritt, Christopher R.B.
Title Low-dose radiography of scoliosis in children: a comparison of methods
Journal name Spine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0362-2436
Publication date 1994-04-01
Year available 1994
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/00007632-199404000-00016
Open Access Status
Volume 19
Issue 7
Start page 818
End page 823
Total pages 6
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Study Design.
Records of 1,582 conventional and computed radiographic examinations performed to evaluate scoliosis were reviewed and compared to determine differences in total radiation burden.


This study evaluated the impact of computed radiographic imaging (CRI) on radiation exposure in children undergoing serial spinal radiographs for scoliosis assessment and compared exposure from CRI with that of low-dose film-screen combinations.

Summary of Background Data.
CRI permits diagnostic radiographic studies to be performed with a dose reduction of 80%-95% compared to conventional film-screen systems. High speed film-screen systems also permit a significantly lower exposure. Each approach has unique advantages and disadvantages.

Over 6 years, we performed 1,582 spinal examinations in children 4-14 years old using reduced dosage techniques with computed radiography. The images were obtained with Fuji FCR 101 and Philips PCR/SP systems. The adequacy of diagnostic image quality in the serial evaluation of scoliosis at different exposure levels was evaluated and compared with regular and film-screen systems with speeds ranging from 250 to 1,200.

Diagnostic quality images for evaluating scoliosis can be obtained with doses of 5% or less than required with conventional film-screen systems. Computed radiography provides image quality and dose reduction comparable to a 1,200-speed film-screen system.


CRI gives satisfactory images at 5% reduction of the standard film-screen dose. Based on comparison with a 1,200 speed film-screen system, CRI provides equal or better image quality at a similar radiation dose. The cost of CRI is higher then for film-screen radiography, but wide latitude and the ability to tailor dose with requirements for image quality are significant advantages for CRI.
Keyword Computed radiography
Dose reduction
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 14 Mar 2011, 19:20:28 EST