X-ray beam divergence (diagram)
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Original artwork by Andrew Murphy.
Forearm radiograph centered at the midshaft of the radius, great for demonstrating the entirety of the forearm yet not ideal for the wrist or the elbow as seen by the beam divergence.
Correctly centered wrist radiograph with no potential elongation/foreshortening from beam divergence.
These diagrams demonstrate the impact of the divergent beam on peripheral anatomy. It is occasionally proposed that two forearm projections can be used to exhibit the wrist and elbow joints and hence cancel out any further imaging, yet beam divergence can obscure occult fractures at either end.
These diagrams are not to scale, they are a basic portrayal of beam divergence. Pure beam divergence angle can be calculated if you know the diameter of the beam at two points and the distance between those two points.
- Martensen KM. Radiographic Image Analysis. Saunders. ISBN:B00EDQ25XC. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon