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Basic C-Arm Diagnosis to Improve Image Quality

Do you have poor image quality on your C-Arm? On older C-Arms, the image intensifier or the x-ray tube may need to be replaced or recalibrated. But before you call the Biomed team or a c-arm repair company, be sure to perform a basic diagnosis to improve image quality on your C-arm.

The technology on todays’ machines are amazing but still come with its own problems.

How to Perform a Basic C-Arm Diagnosis to Improve Image Quality

  • Make sure the body part is centered to the tube. If the anatomy is below or above the iso-center of the image intensifier (II), the differences in densities between the air and the body part can throw off the automatic exposure controls (AEC) which produces a C-Arm problem with high contrast or a grainy images.  Sometimes a simple height adjustment of the C-arm can improve the image quality.
  • If the C-Arm is positioned near different tissue densities such as the thoracic spine and the lumbar spine, the AEC will try to adjust to both densities at the same time, which can cause a grainy or a high contrast image. Center the tube to the densest area first, wait for the Automatic exposure (AEC) to adjust then move to the body part being imaged.  Different densities can cause that annoying blooming effect around the edge of the screen, especially if the patient has a metallic device inserted such as a prosthetic hip.
  • Next, try turning off the AEC and adjust the mA and KvP manually. The AEC might need to be recalibrated or replaced. Using a manual technique can be a quick fix during a case until the biomed team can calibrate the machine.
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