At JPI, we’re proud to say that all of our digital x-ray detectors use CsI technology. What does that mean for you? CsI is an abbreviation for Cesium Iodide, which is one of two materials used for scintillators. Scintillators, which turn x-rays into light, were typically referred to as “screens” when they were in film cassettes. The basic concept is still the same. However, digital imaging requires much brighter light than you get from cassette screens, and the materials used are not the same. In digital x-ray, the two materials used are Cesium Iodide and Gadolinium Oxide.
Gadolinium (or Gadox) is the cheaper, but also dimmer, option. The material consists of Gadox crystals suspended in glue to create a screen much like that found in a film cassette. This film is then glued to the front of the detector. While the quality of Gadox screens varies quite a bit, even the best panels produce far less light than a CsI screen. Additionally, the random distribution of the Gadox crystals and their shape results in lots of scatter, which has an effect of blurring the image produced from the x-ray. Even the best detector hardware will produce a blurrier image when paired with a Gadox screen.
CsI, unlike Gadox, grows naturally into thin, columnar crystals that orient themselves almost straight up and down on whatever surface they are grown on. Many detectors use screens of CsI created by growing the crystals directly on a film, which can then be glued to the detector. Even these screens are much brighter than their Gadox equivalent. In addition, the structure of the CsI crystals guides the light they produce downward, creating far less scatter and blurriness in the resulting image. A detector with a CsI screen requires far less exposure to the patient, and produces a better image than that which can be produced by any amount of exposure with a Gadox screen.
Many of the flat panel detectors sold by JPI, including the CareRay detectors, go a step even further. With these detectors, the CsI is not grown on a film, but directly deposited onto the detector itself. This removes the need for glue, which absorbs and scatters some light, and puts the crystals directly in contact with the light sensors.vWith literally no distance between the electronics and light-generating crystals, the light is directly transformed into an image with no chance to spread or blur, producing an even crisper and brighter image than a CsI screen.