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nobody had ever done systematic measurements on this equipment, since by the time one had the tools, these systems had been replaced by more sophisticated ones," said the study's lead author, Gerrit J. Kemerink, Ph.D., from Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands.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:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... An in-depth computational analysis of ... of Pittsburgh points to eight genes that may explain why susceptibility to one of ... results of a study published today in the journal npj Schizophrenia. , “There ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Healthcare Associates of ... Center at Craig Ranch building at 8080 State Highway 121, Suite 210, McKinney, Texas ... easy access to Highway 121. , As the practice has grown, the need for ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals ... What You See” body image mannequin art competition. Selected from 15 submissions from around ... winner revealed at the 31st annual iaedp Symposium, March 22 – 26 in Las ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... again hosted their Military Wedding Giveaway, with the winning couple announced on Feb. ... with services generously donated from local vendors: A Matter of Taste, Ryan Rousseau ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... with a clinician-based audience, will be participating in Rare Disease Day events, hosted ... D.C. In addition, Rare Disease Report, a website, weekly e-newsletter and quarterly publication, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... and Strategies - 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest research Autism ... pricing data and benchmarks in the global Autism Spectrum Disorder market. ... What are the key drugs marketed for Autism Spectrum Disorder ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Limited, ( ASX: ITD ), an innovative diversified healthcare company, is ... December 2016 compared with the previous corresponding period. A full "Results ... . Highlights Profit after ... Earnings per share of 2.2 cents (Dec 2015: 1.2 cents; up ... 11%) Profit before tax of $2.12m (Dec 2015: ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... The latest research Oesophageal Cancer Drugs Price Analysis ... the global Oesophageal Cancer market. The research answers the ... drugs marketed for Oesophageal Cancer and their clinical attributes? How are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: