CR and DR: Then and Now

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CR and DR past, present and future was the theme of the SCAR University Fundamentals of CR and DR presented Thursday by Katherine P. Andriole, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Andriole provided an overview of both computed radiography (CR) and digital radiography (DR), and how the technologies have gone head to head competing over the years. Andriole noted that CR is comparatively inefficient when put side by side with DR, and also has a workflow that is not that unlike screen film. Yet, CR has a number of benefits including a separation of key functions such as detection and acquisition. When DR came on to the commercial market, however, this provoked a number of positive evolutionary steps in CR such as speed of image capture and its overall efficiency.
   
DR first appeared in 1997, and the first noticeable difference between the systems was that digitization happens during detection with DR, whereas with CR the image has to be taken to a digitizer separately. The key benefits of DR are speed, increased productivity, and efficiency which generally contribute to dose reduction for patients, Andriole said.
   
To date, the modalities continue to attempt to compete with each other's strengths, Andriole said, with DR competing with the portability of CR, and CR trying to match the efficiency and procedure flexibility of DR. Yet, she added in closing, CR and DR will continue to co-exist for some time to come.