To evaluate the potential utility of an asymmetric screen-film system for chest radiography, its image quality and detail visibility compared with a conventional screen-film system are investigated. The basic imaging properties were evaluated by measuring Hurter and Driffield curves, resolution properties, and noise Wiener spectra. The visibility of simulated anatomical and pathological details in radiographs of a chest phantom and normal anatomy in chest radiographs of patients were evaluated subjectively. The dynamic range of each system is comparable, though the asymmetric screen-film system can provide an advantage over the conventional system due to a relative dose reduction of approximately 35% and higher resolution properties at high optical densities. The noise level of the asymmetric screen-film system is slightly greater at low optical densities and much greater at high optical densities. However, the visibility of lung details with the asymmetric screen-film system is slightly superior to the conventional screen-film system despite the increase in noise. Mediastinal and retrodiaphragmatic details are similar, though marginally superior with the asymmetric screen-film system. It is concluded that the asymmetric screen-film system provided slightly superior image quality to the conventional screen-film system for chest radiography, provided the average lung density is maintained at a higher level than is customary with conventional systems.
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