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Background: Currently, the detection of retained wood is a frequent but challenging task in emergency care. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate improved foreign-body detection with the novel approach of preclinical X-ray dark-field radiography. Methods: At a preclinical dark-field x-ray radiography, setup resolution and sensitivity for simultaneous detection of wooden and metallic particles have been evaluated in a phantom study. A clinical setting has been simulated with a formalin fixated human hand where different typical foreign-body materials have been inserted. Signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) have been determined for all test objects. Results: On the phantom, the SNR value for wood in the dark-field channel was strongly improved by a factor 6 compared to conventional radiography and even compared to the SNR of an aluminium structure of the same size in conventional radiography. Splinters of wood < 300 μm in diameter were clearly detected on the dark-field radiography. Dark-field radiography of the formalin-fixated human hand showed a clear signal for wooden particles that could not be identified on conventional radiography. Conclusions: x-ray dark-field radiography enables the simultaneous detection of wooden and metallic particles in the extremities. It has the potential to improve and simplify the current state-of-the-art foreign-body detection.
Braig, E. M., Birnbacher, L., Schaff, F., Gromann, L., Fingerle, A., Herzen, J., … Muenzel, D. (2018). Simultaneous wood and metal particle detection on dark-field radiography. European Radiology Experimental, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41747-017-0034-1
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