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Principles of Exposure

Chapter Eight

Exposure Technique
Selection

Prepared By:
Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah
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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Selecting Exposure Factor Techniques

Selection of proper exposure factors Is Formidable task


Because, There are many thousands of
possible combinations of

kVp, mA, SID, exposure time, IR, patients of various sizes and with
and grid ratios various pathologic conditions

•Tools are available to assist the radiographer in selecting appropriate exposure


techniques:
1. automatic exposure control (AEC) devices.
2. anatomically programmed radiography.
3. exposure technique charts.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Automatic Exposure Control
•An AEC system is a tool available on most modern radiographic units to assist
the radiographer in determining the amount of radiation exposure to produce
a quality image.

• Automatic exposure control (AEC) is a system used to control consistently the


amount of radiation reaching the IR by terminating the length of exposure.
When using AEC systems

Radiographer must select an


appropriate kVp, mA, IR, and grid

And the AEC device determines


the exposure time (and total
exposure) that is used
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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Automatic Exposure Control

AEC systems are excellent at producing consistent levels of exposure


when used properly

But ,
the radiographer must also be aware of the
limitations of using an AEC system in:

1. patient positioning
2. and centering
3. detector size and selection
4. collimation
5. IR variation
Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah
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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
RADIATION DETECTORS

•All AEC devices work by the same principle of operation:


1. Radiation is transmitted through the patient,
2. and converted into an electrical signal,
3. terminating the exposure time occurs when a predetermined amount of
radiation has been detected.
as indicated by the level of electrical
signal that has been produced.
•The difference in AEC systems lies in the type of device that is used to convert
radiation into electricity.

•Two types of AEC systems have been used: 1. Phototimers and 2. Ionization
chambers.
• Phototimers represent the first generation of AEC systems used in radiography
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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Radiation Detectors
•Phototiming specifically refers to the use of an AEC device that use
photomultiplier tubes or photodiodes,

• The more common type of AEC system uses Ionization chambers.

•Regardless of the specific type of AEC system used, almost all systems use a set
of three radiation-measuring detectors, arranged in some specific manner.

The radiographer selects the configuration of these devices,


Determining

which one (or more) of the three actually measures radiation exposure
reaching the IR 6

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Radiation Detectors

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Radiation Detectors
•Phototimer AEC devices are considered exit-type devices because the detectors
are positioned behind the IR .
•so that radiation must exit the IR before it is measured by the detectors.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Radiation Detectors

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Ionization Chamber Systems
•An ionization chamber, or ion chamber, is a hollow cell that contains air and is
connected to the timer circuit via an electrical wire.

•Ionization chamber AEC devices are considered entrance-type devices because


the detectors are positioned in front of the IR.

(so that radiation interacts with the detectors just before interacting with the IR)

• Most AEC systems today use ionization chambers.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Ionization Chamber Systems

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Ionization Chamber Systems

When the ionization chamber is exposed to the air inside the chamber
1 radiation from a radiographic exposure 2 becomes ionized

This charge travels along the wire to creating an electrical


4 the timer circuit 3 charge

5 The timer is tripped and the radiographic exposure is terminated when


6 a sufficiently large charge has been received

This electrical charge is in proportion to


the radiation to which the ionization
7 chamber has been Mr. exposed
Muhammad Abu Arrah
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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
mAs Readout

•When a radiographic study is performed using an AEC device, the total amount
of radiation (mAs) required to produce the appropriate exposure to the IR is
determined by the system.

•Many radiographic units include an mAs readout display, where the actual
amount of mAs used for that image is displayed immediately after the
exposure, sometimes for only a few seconds.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Kvp And mA Selections

•AEC controls only the quantity of radiation reaching the IR and has no effect on
other image characteristics, such as contrast.

•The kVp for a particular examination should be selected as it would be for that
examination, regardless of whether an AEC device is used.

• The radiographer must select the kVp level that provides


1. an appropriate level of contrast
2. appropriate kVp to penetrate the part.

High Kvp low exposure time bec. More radiation penetrate Patient
Radiation reach detector sooner with high kvp

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Minimum Response Time

•The term minimum response time refers to the shortest exposure time that
the system can produce.

Minimum response time (1 ms with modern AEC systems)

•With pediatric patients and other patients who cannot or will not cooperate
with the radiographer by holding still or holding their breath during the
exposure, AEC devices may not be the technology of choice.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Backup Time

•Backup time refers to the maximum length of time the x-ray exposure will
continue when using an AEC system.

• The backup time acts as a safety mechanism when an AEC system fails

•In either case, the backup time :

1. protects the patient from receiving unnecessary exposure.


2. protects the x-ray tube from reaching or exceeding its heat-loading capacity.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Backup Time

•The backup time might be reached as the result of:


operator oversight when an AEC examination, such as a chest x-ray, is done at
the upright Bucky and the radiographer has set the control panel for table
Bucky.

•However, newer x-ray units with AEC include a sensor in the Bucky tray for the
IR and do not allow an exposure to activate if the table Bucky detectors were
selected but the x-ray tube centered to the upright Bucky.

•When controlled by the radiographer, the backup time should be set high
enough to be greater than the exposure needed but low enough to protect
the patient from excessive exposure in case of a problem

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Alignment And Positioning Considerations

Detector Selection
•AEC systems with multiple detectors typically allow the radiographer to select
any combination of one, two, or all three detectors.

•The selected detectors actively measure radiation during exposure, and the
electrical signals are averaged.

•Failure to use the proper detectors could result in either underexposure or


overexposure to the IR.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Detector Selection

• In the case of a PA chest radiograph:


the area of radiographic interest includes the lungs and heart
If the center detector were mistakenly selected
the detector includes the thoracic spine
If the exposure is made
the resultant image shows sufficient exposure in the spine, with the lungs
overexposed

• The manual of AEC device manufacturer provides recommendations for which


detectors to use for specific examinations.

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Detector Selection

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Detector Selection

•Many radiographic units have AEC devices in both the table Bucky and an
upright Bucky.

•If more than one Bucky per radiographic unit uses AEC, the radiographer must
be certain to select the correct Bucky before making an exposure.

•A similar problem can occur in some systems when not using a Bucky, such as
stretcher or wheelchair studies.
If the AEC system is activated with these types of examinations, an unusually long
exposure results because the detectors are not being exposed to radiation.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Patient Centering

•Sure of Proper centering of the part being examined

•The anatomic area of interest must be centered properly over the detectors
that the radiographer has selected.

•Improper centering of the part over the selected detectors may underexpose
or overexpose the IR.
For example, when an AEC device is used for a lateral lumbar spine image,

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Patient Centering

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Detector Size

•radiographer must first determine whether the patient’s anatomic area of


interest can adequately cover the detector combination.

•If the detector combination is larger in size than the area of interest, it would
necessitate the use of a manual exposure technique.

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Patient Considerations
•The AEC system is designed to compensate for changes in patient thickness.

If the area of interest is thicker

because of an increase in the patient’s size

the exposure time will lengthen

to reach the preset exposure to the detectors

•Some patients may require greater technical consideration when AEC.

When detector superimposed with excessive gas of abdomen the exposure end

pre-maturely result under-exposure Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Collimation

• The size of the x-ray field is a factor when AEC systems are used because the
additional scatter radiation produced cause the detector to terminate
the exposure prematurely.

•The detector is unable to distinguish transmitted radiation from scattered


radiation

•Because the detector is measuring both types of radiation exiting the patient,
the timer is turned off too soon when scatter is excessive, which results in
underexposure of the area of interest.

•Additionally, if the x-ray field size is collimated too closely the detector
does not receive sufficient exposure initially may prolong the exposure
time, which could result in overexposure.
Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah
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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Calibration

•Calibration, And quality control testing are essential procedures to


maintain the proper functioning of the AEC system.

•Anatomically programmed radiography (APR), refers to a radiographic system


that allows the radiographer to select a particular button on the control panel
that represents an anatomic area.

• Once an anatomic part and projection or position has been selected, the
radiographer can adjust the exposure factors that are displayed.

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Anatomically Programmed Radiography

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Anatomically Programmed Radiography

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Anatomically Programmed Radiography

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Anatomically Programmed Radiography

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Anatomically Programmed Radiography

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Exposure Technique Charts
•Exposure technique charts are useful tools that assist the radiographer in selecting
a manual exposure technique or when using AEC.

•Exposure technique charts are pre-established guidelines used by the radiographer


to select standardized manual or AEC exposure factors for each type of
radiographic examination.

•All of the following can be included in the technique chart:


1. kVp
2. mAs
3. type of IR
4. grid
5. SID,
6. AEC detector cell selection
7. Patient shielding
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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Exposure Technique Charts

•Technique charts advantages:


1. Production of consistent quality radiographs
2. Reduction in repeat radiographic studies
3. Reduction in patient exposure.

•Technique charts do not replace the critical thinking skills required of the
radiographer.

•The primary task of the radiographer is to produce the highest-quality


radiograph while delivering the least amount of radiation exposure.

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Exposure Technique Charts

•A technique chart should be established for each x-ray tube.

•Each portable radiographic unit must also have its own technique chart.

•Calipers are devices that measure part thickness and should be readily
accessible in every radiographic room.

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Types Of Technique Charts

•The variable kVp/fixed mAs technique chart is based on the concept that kVp
can be increased as the anatomic part size increases.

•Specifically, the baseline kVp is increased by 2 for every 1-cm increase in part
thickness, whereas the mAs is maintained.

•The baseline kVp is the original kVp value predetermined for the anatomic area
to be radiographed. The baseline kVp is then adjusted for changes in part
thickness.

•The baseline kVp value can be determined experimentally with the use of
radiographic phantoms (patient equivalent devices).

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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Fixed kVp/Variable mAs Technique Chart

•The fixed kVp/variable mAs technique chart uses the concept of selecting an
optimal kVp value that is required for the radiographic examination and
adjusting the mAs for variations in part thickness.

•The goal is to determine the kVp that penetrates the part without
compromising radiographic contrast.

•general guideline is for every 4 to 5 cm change in part thickness, the mAs


should be adjusted by a factor of 2.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Chapter 8. Exposure Technique Selection
Types Of Technique Charts

•An advantage of fixed kVp/variable mAs technique charts is that patient groups
can be formed around 4 to 5 cm changes.

•Patient thickness groups can be created instead of listing thickness changes in


increments of 1 cm.

•The fixed kVp/variable mAs technique chart has the advantages of easier use,
more consistency in the production of quality radiographs, uniform
radiographic contrast.

Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah


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Mr. Muhammad Abu Arrah
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