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Lead Foil Compensating Filters and their Impact on Reducing Radiation Exposure for Cervical Spine X-rays

Kirk Eriksen, D.C.


Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ April 9, 2007 ~ Pages 1-9



Objective: To assess the amount of X-ray exposure that is reduced with the utilization of lead foil compensating filters (LFCF), which can be used when taking cervical X-rays


Materials and Methods: Seven types of LFCF were evaluated in a clinical practice. A radiation physicist from the Alabama Department of Public Health conducted the dosimetric readings in this study. Each set of readings was conducted with the X-ray equipment setup to take nasium, vertex and lateral cervical radiographs. Different X-ray factors were utilized with each type of LFCF to simulate patients with various body types.


Results: The nasium LFCF reduced overall exposure by an average of 65% with a reduction of 97% to the majority of the skull and part of the eyes. The vertex LFCF reduced overall radiation by an average of 78%, while the lateral cervical filter reduced exposure by an average of 75%.


Conclusions: The utilization of LFCF in clinical practice can be useful for significantly reducing radiographic exposure for cervical X-rays, while helping to improve film quality for the purpose of spinal biomechanical assessment.


Key Words: Lead foil compensating filter, radiation exposure, Orthospinology, upper cervical, chiropractic, subluxation

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