Radiation dose and image quality of double-loaded cassettes



Some U.S. hospitals double-load x-ray cassettes for certain procedures. Loading two films in the same cassette for portable emergency room (ER), intensive care unit (ICU), or operating room radiographs provides both the referring clinicians and the radiologists with immediate images. Our study demonstrates a cost increase of 15%, an increase in air kerma for a chest x ray from 0.12 to 0.35 mGy (12–35 mrad), slight differences in optical density, image contrast, and spatial resolution under double-loading conditions. Our study shows that double loading cassettes may improve patient care by economically expediting the communication of radiographic findings. The decision to double load portable ICU or ER cassettes must be based on a balance of factors.