Navigation Links
Tests on century-old equipment show how far X-rays have come
Date:3/15/2011

OAK BROOK, Ill. Researchers recently tested first-generation x-ray equipment from 1896 and found that it produced radiation doses and exposure times that were vastly higher than those of today's systems, according a study published online and in the May print edition of Radiology.

"To my knowledge, nobody had ever done systematic measurements on this equipment, since by the time one had the tools, these systems had been replaced by more sophisticated ones," said the study's lead author, Gerrit J. Kemerink, Ph.D., from Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

Wilhelm Roentgen reported his discovery of x-rays on Dec. 28, 1895. A few weeks later, H.J. Hoffmans, a physicist and high school director in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and L. Th. van Kleef, M.D., director of a local hospital, performed anatomical imaging experiments with an x-ray system built from equipment at Hoffmans' high school. Key elements of the system included a high-voltage transformer and a glass bulb with metal electrodes at each end.

Technology advanced rapidly, and the setup used by Hoffmans and Dr. van Kleef soon became obsolete. Eventually, the equipment ended up collecting dust in a Maastricht warehouse. A year ago, Jos M.A. van Engelshoven, M.D., Ph.D., former radiology head at the Maastricht University Medical Center, retrieved the equipment, most of which was still in working order, for a television program on the history of health care in the region. Dr. Kemerink then decided to analyze the setup in more detail.

The Maastricht researchers repeated some of the first imaging exams, using the equipment to image a hand specimen from a body that had been donated to science.

"We sometimes worked in a fully dark room that had black walls, with the only light coming from the flashing tube and from discharges in the spark gap," Dr. Kemerink said. "Together with the irregular buzz of the interrupter and the crackling sound of the discharges, this created a very special, kind of ghostly, ambiance."

The researchers compared the radiation dose, x-ray beam properties and electrical characteristics of the 1896 system with those from a modern x-ray system. Using the same exposure conditions used in 1896, the estimated skin dose needed to image the hand was nearly 1,500 times greater on the first-generation system than on the modern system74 milligrays (mGy) and 0.05 mGy, respectively. Corresponding exposure times were 90 minutes for the old system and 21 milliseconds for the modern system.

Pinhole images showed that the x-rays originated from an extended area of the glass wall in the system's construction, causing image blurring. Still, the 114-year-old system produced what Dr. Kemerink described as surprisingly good images in which anatomical details were clearly visible.

The high radiation doses and long exposures times of early x-ray equipment caused significant health problems for the technology's pioneers. Adverse effects, such as eye complaints, skin burns and loss of hair, were reported within weeks of Roentgen's discovery.

"Many operators of the early x-ray systems experienced severe damage to hands over time, often necessitating amputations or other surgery," Dr. Kemerink said.

X-ray technology improved rapidly in the 20th century, with significantly lower radiation dose and exposure time and improved image quality, making it a convenient and safe imaging modality and an invaluable diagnostic tool.


'/>"/>

Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. PERSONALABS Offers Discounted Healthy Heart Online Blood Tests in February
2. In Tests, Implanted Monitor Detects Atrial Fibrillation
3. Johns Hopkins scientists develop personalized blood tests for cancer using whole genome sequencing
4. Tests to Measure Safety of Anti-Clotting Drugs of Limited Value
5. Costly tests may not help detect bladder cancer recurrence, M. D. Anderson study finds
6. Autism Consortium study in Pediatrics shows CMA finds more genetic abnormalities than current tests
7. Online, Phone Tests Assess Diabetes Risk
8. Blood test identifies people at risk for heart attack that other tests miss
9. Despite tests, high blood pressure hard to recognize in children
10. Concerns over radiation exposure may overshadow life-saving benefits of cardiac imaging tests
11. Newborn infants learn while asleep; study may lead to later disability tests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, ... ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... Dr. Cheng, are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent ... apnea, a serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one ... an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal ... controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major ... to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... of their peers in Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International ... Ph.D ., Vice President of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  True Health, a ... amplified its effort during National Breast Cancer Awareness ... cancer risks. ... Oncology calculated that more than 10 million American ... mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have not had ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... IRVING, Texas , Oct. 6, 2017   ... industry with more than $100 billion in purchasing power, ... industry news and information. The Newsroom is ... chain and industry trends, infographics, expert bios, news releases, ... Besides having access to a wealth of resources at ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Oct. 4, 2017 OBP Medical ... illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory approval from ... Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA)) ... cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED light source ... illumination and exposure of a tissue pocket or ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: