Digital Radiography Detectors — What You Need to Know

Digital radiography detectors are X-ray capture devices developed to replace the film and chemical development processors used by conventional analog X-ray technology.

Digital radiography technology provides a number of advantages, such as the following:

  • Increased speed
  • Superior image quality
  • Immediate image acquisition
  • Option for immediate retakes as needed

All of these advantages combine to produce higher patient throughput and smoother workflow.

A woman using a digital radiographic plate — there are a few differences between plates.

Digital Radiography Detectors — 2 Major Types

There are different types of detectors in today’s market, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

The Gadolinium Oxysulfide Detector

The gadolinium oxysulfide (also known as Gadox) plate is well known as a comparatively affordable option.

It’s price point is the major advantage, saving 20-30% off the upfront price compared with many other categories of digital radiography equipment.

However, there’s always a trade off, and that initial savings brings with it some comparative disadvantages over the long term.

First, the Gadox plate produces a slightly higher radiation dose. Although it’s only about 10% higher dose, it isn’t something that should be left unmentioned — patient and staff safety is always an important consideration.

Second, by purchasing a Gadox plate machine, you’ll be accepting a slightly lower image quality compared to some more expensive machines. The difference is slight and will only be apparent to the trained expert, but it’s important to understand the tradeoff up front.

The bottom line on gadolinium oxysulfide plates is this: If you’re on a tight budget and price point is your major concern, this is probably the digital radiography detector for you.

The Cesium Iodide Detector

Like the Gadox panel, the cesium iodide detector (CsI) panel is a type of digital radiography X-ray capture device. Although they ultimately perform the same task, there are some differences between the CsI and Gadox detector technologies.

The first advantage that the CsI panel brings to the table is a lower radiation dose, compared to many other types of radiography technology (including the Gadox plate). This is particularly advantageous in larger facility settings, such as hospitals, orthopedic groups, and free-standing ER or urgent care clinics, where larger numbers of images must be taken in a series, and patient volume may be high.

The second advantage is image quality. The CsI panel is going to provide the superior resolution and image quality often required by hospital doctors and orthopedic surgeons.

If you’re interested in a slightly lower radiation dose, better image quality, and understand the advantages of spending a little more money on your initial investment, the CsI is the device that will be more likely to suit your needs.

Digital Radiography Detectors — A Difficult Decision

Choosing between the 2 major categories of digital radiography detectors can be difficult.

At Southwest X-ray, we understand that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution to your patient-care needs. Every situation is different, and every medical practice, large or small, will have unique needs.

Contact us now and let someone from our sales team assist you in finding the perfect solution for your facility — click here to get started today.

Shad Merchant

Shad Merchant is an industry veteran with experience in every aspect of the X-ray and imaging industry, having spent over 20 years assisting small medical practices, massive hospital systems, and everyone in between, all over the world, to find the right imaging solution for their needs. Contact him at to learn more about what equipment is right for you.

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