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CHAPTER 11

RADIOGRAPHIC FILM

Image Forming X-rays No unwanted pattern or


 Those that exit the patient and interact with shading on image
the image receptor o Semirigid
o Tinted with blue dye
Exit Beam  Reduces eyestrain & fatigue
 The x-rays that remain as the useful beam
exits the patient Glass Plate
 The original film base
Image Receptor
 The medium that converts the x-ray beam Cellulose Nitrate
into a visible image  Standard base
 Characteristic:
FILM CONSTRUCTION o Flammable

Radiographic Film Cellulose Triacetate (mid-1920s)


 Basic Parts: base & emulsion  Safety base
 Other Parts: adhesive layer & overcoat  Characteristic:
 Thickness: 150-300 μm o Not as flammable as cellulose nitrate

Adhesive Layer Polyester (1960)


 A thin coating located between the emulsion  Film base of choice
& base  Characteristics:
 Purpose: o More resistant
o Allows emulsion & base to maintain o Superior dimensional stability
proper contact & integrity
Emulsion
Overcoat  The heart of the x-ray film
 A protective covering of gelatin that  Composition:
enclosed the emulsion o Gelatin & Silver Halide Crystal
 Purposes:  Thickness: 3-5 μm
o Protects the emulsion from scratches,
pressure & contamination Gelatin
o Allows rough manipulation of x-ray  It holds the silver halide crystal uniformly
film before exposure dispersed in place
 Characteristics:
Base o Clear & sufficiently porous
 The foundation of radiographic film  Principal Function:
 Purpose: o To provide mechanical support for
o To provide a rigid structure onto silver halide crystals
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which the emulsion can be coated
 Characteristics: Silver Halide Crystal
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o Flexible & fracture resistant  The active ingredient of the emulsion


o Dimensional stability  Characteristic:
 Maintain its size & shape o High atomic number (Z)
o Uniform lucency  Composition:
 Transparent to light o Silver bromide (98%)
STEWART C. BUSHONG SUMMARIZED BY: MEYNARD Y. CASTRO
CHAPTER 11
RADIOGRAPHIC FILM

o Silver iodide (2%) Gurney-Mott Theory


 Shapes: tabular (mostly used), cubic,  The accepted, incomplete, explanation of
octahedral, polyhedral & irregular latent image formation

Tabular Silver Halide Crystals Silver Halide Crystal


 Size: 0.1 μm  Crystal Lattice: silver, bromide & iodine
 Diameter: 1 μm atoms
 Cross section: triangular, hexagonal or  Positive Ion: silver
higher-polygonal  Halide/Negative Ions: bromide & iodide
 Arrangement of Atoms: cubic o Found in greatest concentration
along the surface of the crystal
Silver Halide Crystal Formation
AgNO3 + KBr AgBr + KNO3 An ion is an atom that has too many or too few
electrons & therefore has electric charge!
Double Emulsion Film
 Film coated with emulsion on both sides Frankel Defect
 An inherent defect in the structure of silver
Silver Sulfide halide crystals
 A chemical contaminant responsible for the
physical imperfection of the silver halide Photon Interaction With Silver Halide Crystal
crystal Latent Image
 Photoelectric Interaction: x-ray is totally
Sensitivity Center absorbed
 Physical imperfection in the lattice of the  Compton Interaction: x-ray is partially
emulsion layer absorbed
 The latent image center
Secondary Electron Formation
Factors Affecting the Performance of Radiographic Br + photon Br + e-
Film
 The number of sensitivity center per crystals The result is the same whether the interaction
 The concentration of crystals in the involves visible light from an intensifying
emulsion screen or direct exposure by x-rays!
 The size & distribution of the crystals

Radiographic Film Metallic Silver Formation


 It is manufactured in total darkness e- + Ag Ag

FORMATION OF THE LATENT IMAGE Steps in the Production of Latent Image &
Conversion of Latent Image into a Manifest Image
A. Radiation interaction releases electrons
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Latent Image
B. These electrons migrate to the sensitivity
 The invisible change that is induced in the
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center
silver halide crystal
C. At the sensitivity center, atomic silver is
formed by attraction of an interstitial silver
Photographic Effect
ion
 The formation of the latent image
D. This process is repeated many times,
resulting in the buildup of silver atoms
STEWART C. BUSHONG SUMMARIZED BY: MEYNARD Y. CASTRO
CHAPTER 11
RADIOGRAPHIC FILM

E. The remaining silver halide is converted to  Characteristics: thermally-sensitive


silver during processing  Applications: “dry” printers
F. The silver grain results
Characteristics That Must be Considered in
Latent Image Center Selecting Screen-Film
 Group of silver atoms  Contrast, Speed, Spectral Matching,
Anticrossover/Antihalation Dyes &
Processing Safelight
 The term applied to the chemical reactions
that transform the latent image into a Contrast
visible/manifest image  Degree of difference between the light &
dark areas of a radiograph
TYPES OF FILM  High Contrast Film:
o It produces black & white image
Types of Film Used in Medical Imaging o Smaller grains
 Screen-film, Laser Printing,  Low Contrast Film:
Copy/Duplicating, Dental, Radiation o It produces images with shades of
Monitoring & Dry Transfer gray
o Larger grains
Screen-Film  It is inversely proportional to its exposure
 The most widely used IR latitude
 Emulsions: two
 Characteristics: blue or green sensitive Latitude
 Applications: general radiography  The range of exposure techniques (kVp &
 Advantages: reduce technique & dose mAs) that produce an acceptable image
 Disadvantage: image is blurred
Speed
Copy/Duplicating Film  The sensitivity of the screen-film
 Emulsion: single with antihalation backing combination to x-rays & light
 Characteristics: pre-exposed to Dmax  Fast IS: needs fewer x-rays to produce a
 Applications: duplicating radiographs diagnostic image

Dental Film Principal Determinants of Film Speed


 Emulsions: two packed in sealed envelope  For Direct Exposure: concentration & total
 Characteristics: has lead foil to reduce number of silver halide crystals
backscatter  For Screen-Film: silver halide grain size &
 Applications: dentistry shape

Radiation Monitoring Film Large grain emulsions are more sensitive than
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 Emulsions: two packed in sealed envelope small grain emulsion!


 Characteristics: one emulsion can be
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sloughed off to increase OD scale Double Emulsion Film


 Applications: radiation monitoring  An emulsion is layered on either side of the
base
Dry Transfer Film  It is used to optimize the speed
 Emulsions: one  It is flat after processing

STEWART C. BUSHONG SUMMARIZED BY: MEYNARD Y. CASTRO


CHAPTER 11
RADIOGRAPHIC FILM

Covering Power Panchromatic


 The more efficient use of silver in the  Film that is sensitive to the entire visible
emulsion spectrum

Crossover Reciprocity Law


 The exposure of an emulsion caused by light  Principle that states that optical density on a
from the opposite radiographic intensifying radiograph is proportional only to the total
screen energy imparted to the radiographic film
 Effect: blurring of image  Formula:
o Exposure = Intensity x Time =
Ways to Reduce Crossover Constant Optical Density
 Tabular grain emulsions:  Applicable: film exposed directly to x-ray
o Increase covering power  Failure: when film exposed to light from IS
 Light-absorbing dye:  Important: when exposure times are long
o Added in a crossover control layer (mammography) & short (angiography)
o It reduces crossover to near zero  Result: reduce speed & increase technique
 IS that emits short-wavelength light (Blue or
UV) APPROXIMATE RECIPROCITY LAW
FAILURE
Three Critical Characteristics of Crossover Control Exposure Time Relative Speed
Layer 1 ms 95
 It absorbs most of the crossover light 10 ms 100
 It does not diffuse into the emulsion but 100 ms 100
remains as a separate layer 1s 90
 It is completely removed during processing 10 s 60

Spectral Matching Safelight


 The most important consideration  It provides enough light to illuminate the
 The color of light emitted by the screen must darkroom while ensuring that the film
match the response of the film remains unexposed
 Calcium Tungstate: blue & blue-violet  Composition: incandescent lamp with filter
 Rare Earth: ultraviolet, blue, green & red  Watts: 15 W
 Distance: 5ft (1.5m) from work surface
Rare Earth screens are made with rare Earth  Amber Filter: for blue sensitive film (>550
elements – those with atomic numbers of 57 to nm)
71!  Red Filter: for both green & blue sensitive
film (>600 nm)
All silver halide films respond to violet & blue
light but not to green, yellow, or red unless Direct-Exposure Film
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they are spectrally sensitized!  Film used without the use of IS


 Characteristics:
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Orthochromatic Film o Thicker emulsion than screen-film


 Film that is green-sensitive o Higher concentration of silver halide
crystals
 Purpose: to improve direct x-
ray interaction
STEWART C. BUSHONG SUMMARIZED BY: MEYNARD Y. CASTRO
CHAPTER 11
RADIOGRAPHIC FILM

o Back side of the base is coated with Line Artifact


clear gelatin (for single emulsion  Cause: creasing of the film
film)
 Purpose: to balance emulsion Specular Artifact
swelling & shrinking  Cause: dirt on the hands or IS

Mammography Film Static Artifact


 Emulsion: single with antihalation backing  Cause: dry environment

Halation Heat & Humidity


 Reflection of screen light transmitted  Storage Temperature: <20 oC/65 oF
through the emulsion & base  Refrigeration Storage: 10 oC/50 oF
 Fog: cause by high temperature
Antihalation Coating o Result: reduce contrast
 An absorbing dye  It must be stored in a cool, dry place ideally
 Purpose: to reduce reflection of screen light in a climate-controlled environment
 It is used in all single emulsion screen-film  Relative Humidity Range: 40-60%
o <40%: static artifacts
Laser Film o >60%: fog
 A silver halide film that has been sensitized
to the red light emitted by the laser Light
 Emulsion: single with antihalation backing  Increase Fog: caused by low level, diffuse
 Characteristics: matches laser used (630 light exposes the film
nm)  Artifacts: cause by bright light exposes or
 Applications: laser printer (CT, MRI, UTZ) partially exposes the film
 Ensuring Control of Light:
Laser Beam Modulation o A well-sealed dark room
 The intensity of the laser beam is varied in o A light-proof storage bin
direct proportion to the strength of the image o Storage bin with electrical interlock
signal
Radiation
Specialty Films  It creates an artifact by increasing fog &
 Cine Film reducing contrast
o It is used in cinefluorography  Film Fog:
o Size: 35 mm o A dull, uniform optical density
 Spot Film: o Causes: film exposed to light, x-
o A static image in a small-format IR rays, heat or humidity
taken during fluoroscopy
o Size: 70-105 mm The fog level for unprocessed film is
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approximately 0.2 mR (2 μGya)!
HANDLING AND STORAGE OF FILM
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Artifacts Radiographic film is more sensitive after


exposure than before. It is also far more
 The marks or spurious images that
sensitive to x-ray exposure than are people!
sometimes appear on the processed
radiograph

STEWART C. BUSHONG SUMMARIZED BY: MEYNARD Y. CASTRO


CHAPTER 11
RADIOGRAPHIC FILM

Shell Life
 Expiration Date: indicates the maximum
shelf life of the film
 Aging:
o Results: loss of speed & contrast &
increase in fog
 Film Box Storage: lying vertically
o Rationale: to prevent pressure
artifacts
 Sequencing:
o Oldest film is used first
o First in, first out (FIFO)
 30 Days: maximum storage time for
radiographic film
 Supply Schedule: every 5-week

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STEWART C. BUSHONG SUMMARIZED BY: MEYNARD Y. CASTRO