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Br J Radiol. 1997 Apr;70(832):383-90.

The use of carbon fibre material in radiographic cassettes: estimation of the dose and contrast advantages.

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Joint Department of Physics, Royal Marsden NHS Trust, London, UK.


A Monte Carlo simulation has been used to estimate the dose and contrast advantages of replacing radiographic cassette fronts fabricated from aluminium with cassette fronts fabricated from low atomic number material (carbon fibre). The simulation used a realistic imaging geometry and calculations were made both with and without an anti-scatter grid. Account was taken of the scatter generated in the cassette front and the effect of beam hardening on primary contrast. Dose and contrast were evaluated for a range of cassette front thicknesses and tube potentials (60-150 kV) as well as for four examinations representative of situations with varying amounts of scatter. The results with an anti-scatter grid show a clear dose and contrast advantage in all cases when an aluminium cassette front is replaced with a low attenuation cassette front. The contrast advantage is dependent upon the examination and is generally greater for imaging bony structures than for imaging soft tissue. If a 1.74 mm aluminium cassette front is compared with a 1.1 mm carbon fibre cassette front, then the dose advantages are 16%, 9%, 8% and 6% and the contrast advantages are 10%, 7%, 4% and 5% for the AP paediatric pelvis examination at 60 kV, the anteroposterior (AP) lumbar spine examination at 80 kV, the lateral lumbar spine examination at 100 kV and the posteroanterior (PA) chest examination at 150 kV, respectively. The results without an anti-scatter grid show an increased dose advantage when a low attenuation cassette front is used, but the contrast advantage is small and in some situations negative.

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