Document Detail

The application of x-rays in radiology: from difficult and dangerous to simple and safe.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22451536     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: This article will provide an assessment of the application of x-rays in the early days of radiology, which is an excellent way to come to value the convenience and safety of modern x-ray systems.
CONCLUSION: The gas tubes that were originally applied for x-ray production were very unstable because of variations in the tube's vacuum. In an effort to understand some of the problems of these tubes and the high occupational exposure that was indirectly caused by the tubes' erratic behavior, we measured x-ray output rates as a function of the gas pressure inside the tube. The pressure range for the optimal production of x-rays, using an original Ruhmkorff inductor as a high-voltage generator, was found to be narrow. With the vacuum changing over time, this might explain the many photographs from the first years of radiology with operators watching their unshielded tube, either with bare eyes or with a fluoroscope, and their own hand as a test object. This practice often led to severe damage of the hands and to many early deaths due to cancer. Today, after a century of technologic development of x-ray tubes and associated equipment, the total average effective dose of workers in radiology can be close to natural background levels.
Martijn Kemerink; Tom J Dierichs; Julien Dierichs; Hubert Huynen; Joachim E Wildberger; Jos M A van Engelshoven; Gerrit J Kemerink
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  AJR. American journal of roentgenology     Volume:  198     ISSN:  1546-3141     ISO Abbreviation:  AJR Am J Roentgenol     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-03-27     Completed Date:  2012-05-22     Revised Date:  2013-05-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7708173     Medline TA:  AJR Am J Roentgenol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  754-9     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Radiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Equipment Design
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century
Radiation Dosage
Radiography / history*,  instrumentation*
Radiometry / history*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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