Objective: To compare the radiation dose, workflow, patient comfort, and financial break-even of a standard digital radiography and a biplanar low-dose X-ray system.
Materials and methods: A standard digital radiography system (Ysio, Siemens Healthcare, Erlangen, Germany) was compared with a biplanar X-ray unit (EOS, EOS imaging, Paris, France) consisting of two X-ray tubes and slot-scanning detectors, arranged at an angle of 90° allowing simultaneous vertical biplanar linear scanning in the upright patient position. We compared data of standing full-length lower limb radiographs and whole spine radiographs of both X-ray systems.
Results: Dose-area product was significantly lower for radiographs of the biplanar X-ray system than for the standard digital radiography system (e.g. whole spine radiographs; standard digital radiography system: 392.2 ± 231.7 cGy*cm(2) versus biplanar X-ray system: 158.4 ± 103.8 cGy*cm(2)). The mean examination time was significantly shorter for biplanar radiographs compared with standard digital radiographs (e.g. whole spine radiographs: 449 s vs 248 s). Patients' comfort regarding noise was significantly higher for the standard digital radiography system. The financial break-even point was 2,602 radiographs/year for the standard digital radiography system compared with 4,077 radiographs/year for the biplanar X-ray unit.
Conclusion: The biplanar X-ray unit reduces radiation exposure and increases subjective noise exposure to patients. The biplanar X-ray unit demands a higher number of examinations per year for the financial break-even point, despite the lower labour cost per examination due to the shorter examination time.