The Big Digital Question!

I seem to always be fielding the question “Why is our system called CR and some called DR?” My quick response is: when using CR (The system we currently have in our lab) you are actually loading a cassette into the bucky tray, or using it table top just as you would if you were using film/screen. DR is completely filmless and has a built in receptor so you do not have to load a film/cassette to get an image.

Okay, now let’s take a closer look at CR imaging and find out why it is really called CR.

CR stands for Computed Radiography. It is a digital acquisition system. When using CR you are acquiring the x-ray image in a cassette that houses an imaging plate. The CR system is considered an indirect system because the image is first recorded on the image plate and then uploaded into the computer system via a digital processor.

DR is filmless. The x-ray equipment has a built in image receptor and processor to upload the image directly to the the monitor to be displayed. DR is a direct imaging system because it does not use a cassette or an in between step in the digital processing process.

Just curious…but are you using the CR system or DR?

~The X-Ray Chic

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5 Responses to “The Big Digital Question!”

  1. Davyn says:

    From the eyes of someone who sells CR in the used marketplace it seems as though hospitals and very large hospitals are moving to DR but the smaller hospitals and centers are going the CR route which is definitely a lower cost of entry. Even still, I am removing 9 CR systems from a large hospital near Chicago next month and they are just replacing them with newer CR systems.

  2. Elise says:

    At all the hospitals I have ever worked at they use DR primarily but also have CR for mobiles and instances where you need a mobile image receptor (for example, AP stretcher chest in the department) because we don’t have the mobile DR IRs.

  3. Thanks for the response! If the hospitals are primarily digital I’m guessing that you are seeing a significant patient flow. Has the economy effected your numbers greatly, or have you remained fairly steady? I know here our numbers have declined.

  4. Elise says:

    I am in Canada so patients don’t directly pay for imaging studies. This is likely the reason we haven’t seen any changes in numbers.

  5. Chris says:

    I’m a student in the UK, and in my clinical site we have a mixture of CR and DR systems. DR has significantly decreased the turnaround times for our patients in the main department. We use CR still for images for the less moveable patients; and we do still have one full time CR room that we use – and one that we open for special clinics and when the DR rooms (inevitably) break down.

    As I am training withing the NHS, patients do not pay directly for their images or indeed any diagnostic procedures or treatment; like Elise we have not had a decrease in patient numbers. We have, however, seen an increase in patient satisfaction by the reduced turnaround times.

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