The effects of K fluorescence on the imaging performance of photoconductor-based x-ray imaging systems are investigated. A cascaded linear systems model was developed, where a parallel cascaded process was implemented to take into account the effect of K-fluorescence reabsorption on the modulation transfer function (MTF), noise power spectrum (NPS), and the spatial frequency dependent detective quantum efficiency [DQE(f)] of an imaging system. The investigation was focused on amorphous selenium (a-Se), which is the most highly developed photoconductor material for x-ray imaging. The results were compared to those obtained with Monte Carlo simulation using the same imaging condition and detector parameters, so that the validity of the cascaded linear system model could be confirmed. Our results revealed that K-fluorescence reabsorption in a-Se is responsible for a 18% drop in NPS at high spatial frequencies with an incident x-ray photon energy of E=20 keV (which is just above the K edge of 12.5 keV). When E increases to 60 keV, the effects of K-fluorescence reabsorption on NPS decrease to ∼12% at high spatial frequencies. Because the high frequency drop is present in both MTF and NPS, the effect of K fluorescence on DQE(f) is minimal, especially for E that is much higher than the K edge. We also applied the cascaded linear system model to a newly developed compound photoconductor, lead iodide and found that at 60 keV there is a high frequency drop in NPS of 19%. The calculated NPS were compared to previously published measurements of detectors.