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Identifying The Causes of Film Artifacts

TWO CLASSIFICATIONS OF ARTIFACTS

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Sensitized artifacts:
• Artifacts result from any type of exposure that sensitizes the emulsion/
• Static electricity, pressure, extraneous radiation.

Non-sensitized artifacts:
• Artifacts result from physical damage to the film.
• Dirt deposits, scratches.

GENERAL RADIOGRAPHIC TIME PERIOD IN WHICH ARTIFACTS OCCUR

1. During radiographic exposure.
2. During processing of the film.
3. When the film is being handled and stores either before or after processing.

EXPOSURE ARTIFACTS

• Associated with the manner in which the radiographer conducts the examination.
• Incorrect screen-film match.
• Poor screen-film contact.
• Warped cassette.
• Improper positioning of patient and grid.
• Patient motion.
• Double exposure.
• Usually easy to detect and correct.

PROCESSING ARTIFACTS

• Occurs during processing the radiographic film.
• Generally related to improper exposure techniques.

HANDLING AND STORAGE ARTIFACTS

Storage artifacts:

 Artifacts result from the way film is stored.
 Fresh film should be stored in where the temperature is 15-21° centigrade (60-70° fahrenheight) and the relative hhumidity is 50-60%.
 Boxes containing film should be place upright or on edge so as to provide maximum support and should be stacked no more than three high.
 Storing film flat may produce pressure artifacts.
 The film storage area should be free of extraneous radiation and heat and chemical fumes.
 The stocks should be rotated, on the first/first out principle (FIFO) the oldest should be used first.
 Records of the film used should be kept to maintain the system.

Handling artifacts:

 Improper handling of the film during transportation can be a serious cause of artifact production.
 Increased fog, pressure artifacts and sensitization are common problems associated with transportation handling.
 Perspiration from finger, fingernail marks, and static discharges can occur with improper handling in the darkroom prior to processing.

About

The author is a Radiologic Technologist, currently in the academic field, hoping to mold and produce future Radiologic Technologists who will be theoretically and technologically competent.

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  1. bryan says:

    I am still amazed that we are using a technology that is over 100 years old (x-ray was first discovered in 1895). It seems we could find a better way to accomplish this task with all we have now.

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