Before you shop: An important pointer when taking the leap into digital imaging

Aug 24, 2012
By staff

If you're waiting until your hand tank breaks before converting to digital imaging, you'll need to drill a hole in it, says Anthony Pease, DVM, MS, DACVR. He likens digital imaging to email: "You can still write a letter, but it's easier and faster to send an email."

You know there are lots of decisions to make when determining what kind of digital imaging system to invest in for your practice. Dr. Pease had some great pointers for attendees of the CVC in Kansas City, Friday, Aug. 24.

He says the main thing to avoid is high-pressure salespeople talking about resolution. They might use the terms megapixels, pixel depth, and even line pairs per millimeter. All digital systems, except for digital mammography, have less spatial resolution than most film screen combinations. But it is not spatial resolution—the ability to see to objects of similar opacity next to each other—you should care about, says Dr. Pease. Contrast resolution—the ability to see two structures of slightly different opacities next to each other—is more important.

And this is where digital imaging is superior, says Dr. Pease. Because it is possible to adjust the grey scale on the images after exposure, the ability to identify small fragments and areas of mineralization or nodules within the lungs is far greater with digital imaging systems compared with conventional film.