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Screen-film systems


Screen-film imaging was first introduced into medical imaging in the early 20th century and has been the primary imaging modality until the introduction of digital imaging toward the end of the 20th century. Screen-film systems are still the primary imaging modality in many areas. Consequently, it is essential to have a good understanding of the technical aspects of screen-film imaging systems.

Important Principles

In addition to a general understanding of how screen-film systems are used in the clinical setting, it is essential to understand the characteristics of the film, its curve, image sharpness (measured with resolution or modulation transfer function curves), and image noise. The importance of the correct selection of film for the screens being used must be understood, as well as the importance of good screen-film contact.

Introduction to References

A general discussion of the principles of screen-film imaging is presented in Sprawls and in Chapter 7.3 of the IAEA Handbook. An outline of the clinical experience necessary for a clinical medical physics resident in diagnostic imaging is provided in Appendix IV of the IAEA book entitled Clinical Training of Medical Physicists Specializing in Diagnostic Radiology (French and Spanish versions also available). The theory of the photographic process is covered by Herz. Step-by-step guides for quality control of screen-film systems are included in the Quality Control References.