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Orthopedics. 2011 Dec 6;34(12):e906-10. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20111021-15.

New computed radiography processing condition for whole-spine radiography.

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Department of Spine and Orthopedics Surgery, Spine Center, Japanese Red Cross Medical Center, 4-1-22 Hiroo, Tokyo 150-8935, Japan.


Computed radiography (CR) has many advantages compared with conventional radiographs, especially in image processing. Although CR is being used in chest radiography and mammography, it has not been applied to spine imaging. The purposes of this study were to formulate a set of new CR processing parameters and to test whether the resultant whole-spine radiographs visualized the spine more clearly than conventional images. This study included 29 patients who underwent whole-spine radiographs. We used 3 image processing methods to improve the clarity of whole-spine radiographs: gradation processing, dynamic range control processing, and multi-objective frequency processing. Radiograph definition was evaluated using vertebrae sampled from each region of the whole spine, specifically C4, C7, T8, T12, and L3; evaluation of the lateral view also included the sacral spine and femoral head. Image definition was assessed using a 3-point grading system. The conventional and processed CR images (both frontal and lateral views) were evaluated by 5 spine surgeons. In all spinal regions on both frontal and lateral views, the processed images showed statistically significantly better clarity than the corresponding conventional images, especially at T12, L3, the sacral spine, and the femoral head on the lateral view. Our set of new CR processing parameters can improve the clarity of whole-spine radiographs compared with conventional images. The greatest advantage of image processing was that it enabled clear depiction of the thoracolumbar junction, lumbar vertebrae, sacrum, and femoral head in the lateral view.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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