What is a DR panel?
If you are new to digital x-ray or just beginning your search for a digital x-ray system, it can be a bit overwhelming. There is a lot of information, some of it is very technical, and there are a lot of potentially unfamiliar terms used. In this article I’m going to take some time to answer a question that I have been asked a few times recently; what exactly is a DR panel?
In terms of x-ray systems, DR stands for Direct Radiography. You will also see DR as an abbreviation for Digital Radiography. In our x-ray systems, the DR flat panels are the component of the x-ray system that makes the system digital. DR flat panels replace the film in an analog x-ray system and are typically the size of a film cassette. They slide into the space on the bucky where the film cassette would usually be.
So how does this technology work?
A DR panel contains a layer of crystals inside of it. These crystals are usually either Gadolinium OxiSulfate (GOS) or Cesium Iodine (CsI). These crystals are known as the scintillators or the scintillation layer. When the x-ray generator creates the x-ray and it is aimed at the DR panel, the scintillation layer in the panel absorbs the x-rays and produces visible light (but you won’t see this as it’s contained within the panel).
Next, the visible light is measured on a photodiode that converts the energy in the light to an electrical signal. This electrical signal then becomes a digital signal that is sent to the computer and will create the visible x-ray image via the image acquisition software. This whole process occurs within a matter of seconds.
CsI vs GOS
At Maven Imaging we only sell Cesium Iodine (CsI) DR flat panels. This is a newer technology and slightly more expensive. However, because the CsI crystals have a columnar structure, it creates less light spread when the x-rays hit the scintillation layer and are converted to visible light. This creates less blurring and higher spatial resolution in CsI vs GOS panels. While some companies still sell DR panels with Gadolinium OxiSulfate (GOS) scintillators, we encourage our customers to go with CsI as it is becoming the industry standard and we feel it offers a much better value and is a higher quality panel.
If you have any questions about DR panels or digital x-ray systems please reach out to our sales team at Maven Imaging. You can email us at email@example.com or call us at (800) 949-8015. We look forward to hearing from you!