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Radiology Labs

UC Radiologic Science Department Has Gone Filmless!

Technological advancements in medical imaging continue to revolutionize the profession. Such advancements typically are found in major medical centers and outpatient facilities; however, the University of Charleston’s administration has once again shown their commitment to delivering quality education. The radiologic science faculty and students have the availability of their new state-of-the-art imaging equipment. Previously, the program’s two activated x-ray labs permitted students to practice imaging techniques using x-ray film and then processing the image with wet chemistry in an automatic processor. UC's radiologic science students will now practice using their new AGFA CR35 x Digitizer and Workstation.

Computed radiography (CR) requires a reusable imaging plate in place of the film. This plate employs a coating of photostimulable storage phosphors to capture images. When exposed to x-rays, electrons inside the phosphor crystals are excited and trapped in a higher-energy metastable state. The CR reader scans the plate by means of a laser beam. The laser energy releases the trapped electrons, causing visible light to be emitted. This light is captured and the analog signal is converted into a digital image through algorithmic computations. The image can then be previewed on a computer workstation within seconds of the exposure, the contrast and brightness can be adjusted if necessary, and the image is stored. The main functions of the workstation software are to:

  • Control digital image acquisition
  • Display and analyze digital images
  • Manage information and data

The Radiologic Science Department worked closely with Frank Fallin, Agfa Account Executive, to make this vision a reality. Faculty believes this addition to the program will provide students with value-added radiology education. Since all of the clinical affiliates in the Charleston area have the CR technology, our students will be productive in the real-world experiences they will encounter when they begin their clinical rotations. Student-learning and medical-imaging patient care will be enhanced as a result of this high-tech upgrade.

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