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THE transition from analogue (film-to-screen) radiographic imaging to digital radiographic imaging has improved the quality of radiographic studies in veterinary medicine. The potential advantages of digital imaging over conventional imaging are extensively presented in the literature and include a greater dynamic range than film, such as the ability to correct for exposure errors, the ability to apply post-processing algorithms, the ability to transmit images to a remote viewing area (Wilson and others 1991) and many more. There are two main types of digital radiography method: computed radiography (CR) and direct digital radiography (DDR) (Butler and others 2008a, Bushberg and others 2011, Robertson and Thrall 2013).
The main difference between analogue and digital imaging is that the film cassette used in analogue radiography is replaced by a radiographic image captured electronically. In the CR system the digital recording device is a flexible or rigid photostimulable phosphor plate, whereas in DDR systems there is a rigid imaging plate (Butler and others 2008a, Bushberg and others 2011, Robertson and Thrall 2013).
Digital images comprise picture elements known as pixels where each has a specific shade of grey and their size determines the spatial resolution of the image, that is, how small an object can be detected (Robertson and Thrall 2013). However, the spatial resolution of a digital image is inferior to that of an analogue image (Wilson and others 1991) and it is not responsible for the superior quality of digital images. The major factor contributing to the superior image quality of CR and DDR is the wide dynamic range, which allows optimisation of contrast and exposure. In CR and DDR systems, the receptors respond to x-ray exposure and produce data over a …