AAPM/RSNA physics tutorial for residents: physics of flat-panel fluoroscopy systems: Survey of modern fluoroscopy imaging: flat-panel detectors versus image intensifiers and more

Radiographics. Mar-Apr 2011;31(2):591-602. doi: 10.1148/rg.312105185.


This article reviews the design and operation of both flat-panel detector (FPD) and image intensifier fluoroscopy systems. The different components of each imaging chain and their functions are explained and compared. FPD systems have multiple advantages such as a smaller size, extended dynamic range, no spatial distortion, and greater stability. However, FPD systems typically have the same spatial resolution for all fields of view (FOVs) and are prone to ghosting. Image intensifier systems have better spatial resolution with the use of smaller FOVs (magnification modes) and tend to be less expensive. However, the spatial resolution of image intensifier systems is limited by the television system to which they are coupled. Moreover, image intensifier systems are degraded by glare, vignetting, spatial distortions, and defocusing effects. FPD systems do not have these problems. Some recent innovations to fluoroscopy systems include automated filtration, pulsed fluoroscopy, automatic positioning, dose-area product meters, and improved automatic dose rate control programs. Operator-selectable features may affect both the patient radiation dose and image quality; these selectable features include dose level setting, the FOV employed, fluoroscopic pulse rates, geometric factors, display software settings, and methods to reduce the imaging time.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Fluoroscopy / instrumentation*
  • Health Physics / education*
  • Health Physics / instrumentation*
  • Internship and Residency
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical
  • United States
  • X-Ray Intensifying Screens*