Feature | Digital Radiography (DR) | July 19, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr

DR Advances Promote Imaging of Whole Spine

AHRA Presenter To Describe How Advances Are Impacting Patient Care

Advances in long-length digital radiography are creating opportunities for visualization during spinal surgery, as well as pre- and post-operatively. Image courtesy of Fujifilm Medical Systems

Advances in long-length digital radiography are creating opportunities for visualization during spinal surgery, as well as pre- and post-operatively. Image courtesy of Fujifilm Medical Systems

Greg Freiherr

Greg Freiherr

Recent advances in digital radiography (DR) are increasing demand for whole spine imaging before, during and after back surgery, according to Gregg R. Cretella, national director of clinical operations for Fujifilm Medical Systems, USA.

“Spine surgeries in the United States — probably worldwide — are on the rise,” he told Imaging Technology News. “Digital radiography vendors have (developed) advanced DR technology that better supports spine imaging.”

At the Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA 2019) meeting on July 24, Cretella will explain how DR long-length detector technology and image processing algorithms are changing the utilization of this modality, specifically in spine imaging. He plans to describe how these advances can help improve patient comfort, reduce radiation dose, and drive clinical, operational and financial outcomes.

Discussions will address DR as well as computed radiography (CR) for whole spine and other applications of long-length imaging. Because CR cassettes are still in widespread use, this modality continues to figure into spine imaging, just as different DR methods can be used for these applications, according to Cretella.

 

Long-length Imaging Methods

CR, when used for long-length imaging, may require manually setting up cassettes and then stitching the resulting images together. Similarly, if done with a small detector, digital radiographs may also have to be stitched together. The process can be grueling. But semiautomatic and automatic methods are available.

The ultimate solution is to use a single long-length DR detector that produces an image of the entire spine. “The biggest advantage (of the long-length detector) is that it allows for a single exposure of the entire region of clinical interests,” Cretella said. “And, because it is digital radiography technology, there is almost immediate gratification from that single exposure,” noting that surgeons can look at the image soon after the exposure.

The use of long-length detectors may also improve patient comfort, he said. The reason is the fast data acquisition, which may be especially appealing to patients during the post-operative phase, Cretella opined: “After back surgery, I would imagine that standing is a challenge.”

Patient safety may also be improved through the use of DR, he said. Reductions in radiation dose from 50 to 75 percent may be achieved using DR long-length technologies compared with those of CR, according to Cretella. He plans to address advances in dose monitoring during his talk, as well as “exposure surveillance” specific to whole spine imaging.

“Ultimately you will be able to use these tools to continue to reduce patient dose for whole spine imaging,” he said, “and then to facilitate any dose reduction programs that you may have.”

Cretella said he hopes the information he presents at AHRA will help administrators considering the acquisition of long-length imaging technologies, particularly in light of shifting utilization. Until the last year or so, this type of radiography was focused primarily on scoliosis and long-leg imaging outside the operating room. Recently, however, surgeons have been demanding whole spine images during the operative procedures, he said.

 

Greg Freiherr is a contributing editor to Imaging Technology News. Over the past three decades, Freiherr has served as business and technology editor for publications in medical imaging, as well as consulted for vendors, professional organizations, academia, and financial institutions.

Editor’s note: This article is the fourth piece in a content series by Greg Freiherr covering The Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) annual meeting in Denver. The first article, How Standardizing Protocols Can Save Time and Money, can be found here. The second article, How Artificial Intelligence Might Impact Radiology, can be found here. The third article, How To Manage Risk in the MR Suite, can be found here.

Related content:

How Standardizing Protocols Can Save Time and Money

How Artificial Intelligence Might Impact Radiology

How To Manage Risk in the MR Suite

DR Detectors 

Fujifilm Unveils Long-Length Digital Radiography Detector at RSNA 2015 

Scoliosis Imaging: What Radiologists Should Know 

The Coming Push for DR 

 

 

Related Content

Iodine-based CT contrast ready for scanning with a Canon Aquilion One 320-slice CT system at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in the Chicago suburbs.
News | Radiology Imaging | January 22, 2020
January 22, 2020 — The risk of administering modern...
This is a lung X-ray reviewed automatically by artificial intelligence (AI) to identify a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) in the color coded area. This AI app from Lunit is awaiting final FDA review and in planned to be integrated into several vendors' mobile digital radiography (DR) systems. Fujifilm showed this software integrated as a work-in-progress into its mobile X-ray system at RSNA 2019. GE Healthcare has its own version of this software for its mobile r=ray systems that gained FDA in 2019.   #RSNA #

This is a lung X-ray reviewed automatically by artificial intelligence (AI) to identify a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) in the color coded area. This AI app from Lunit is awaiting final FDA review and in planned to be integrated into several vendors' mobile digital radiography (DR) systems. Fujifilm showed this software integrated as a work-in-progress into its mobile X-ray system at RSNA 2019. GE Healthcare has its own version of this software for its mobile r=ray systems that gained FDA in 2019.

Feature | RSNA | January 20, 2020 | Dave Fornell, Editor
Here are images of some of the newest new medical imaging technologies displayed on the expo floor at the ...
Gadolinium based contrast dye in brain MRI

Gadolinium contrast agents (GBCAs) are partly retained in the brain, raising safety concerns, as seen in this MRI.

News | Contrast Media | January 17, 2020
January 17, 2020 — Bracco Diagnostics Inc., the U.
Nanox secures $26M supported by strategic investment from Foxconn, unveiling the Startek-inspired AI Biobed for early detection
News | X-Ray | January 16, 2020
January 16, 2020 — Nanox, an innovative medical imaging techn
Carestream’s X-ray digital tomosynthesis functionality creates three-dimensional datasets from digital radiography (DR) that can be scrolled through similar to computed tomography (CT) imaging. It received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2020. Digital tomosynthesis uses a single sweep of X-ray exposures and streamlines operator workflow by separating the process of DT exposure acquisition from image volume formation.
News | Digital Radiography (DR) | January 15, 2020
January 15, 2020 — Carestream’s X-ray digital tomosynthesis (DT) functionality, which creates three-dimensional datas
Imaging Technology News (ITN) has been acquired by Wainscot Media
News | Imaging Technology News - ITN | January 14, 2020
January 14, 2020 — Park Ridge, N.J.-based publisher Wainscot Medi...
Videos | RSNA | January 13, 2020
ITN Editor Dave Fornell takes a tour of some of the most innovative new medical imaging technologies displayed on the
Partners of Collaborative Imaging experience billing collection improvements of over 25 percent while reducing operating costs by 30 percent

Image courtesy of Philips Healthcare

News | Radiology Business | January 08, 2020
January 8, 2020 — The $18 billion radiology industry continues to face a growing threat of consolidation, resulting i
Sponsored Content | Videos | Digital Radiography (DR) | January 06, 2020
An experienced technologist and two Agfa executives talk about what distinguishes the new Agfa 100s.
Sponsored Content | Videos | Ultrasound Imaging | January 06, 2020
The Arietta 850SE provides facilities with numerous features and functionality to get the most out of a system.