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Journal of Radiography & Radiation Sciences

2014;  (v 28): 1-6


Artefactual Behaviour of Fluid in Radiographic Darkroom Practice

Adejoh Tom, Moi A. Silas, Nkubli B. Flavious, Chiegwu U. Hyacienth.

Copyright © 2017 The Association Of Radiographers Of Nigeria. All Rights Reserved.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Background: Before the advent of computed and digital radiography, radiographs were processed in a light-tight darkroom. In spite of advancement in technology which enables film processing without the intermediary of the conventional darkroom, many radiographic centres worldwide, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, still carry out darkroom processing. Liquid chemicals are involved, and their misuse may result in artefacts on the processed radiographs.

Objective: To investigate the artefactual abilities of common darkroom fluids on x-ray films (unprocessed) and radiographs (processed) in a centre transiting from darkroom to computed radiography.

Methods: A total of five thousand, five hundred (5,500) radiographs produced between January to June 2013, and retrieved from the archive were scrutinized retrospectively, with the aid of a viewing box until those with fluid-induced artefacts were identified and isolated. The nature, grayscale appearance and origin of artefacts were arrived at by consensus of the researchers and documented. Divergence in opinion or ambiguous artefacts was resolved through darkroom simulations. Data was analyzed with a simple calculator.

Results: Sixty-one (1.1 %) radiographs with fluid-induced artefacts were noted. Developer caused black artefacts while fixer, water and grease all caused different hue of grey artefacts. Only grease caused artefacts after processing whereas other fluids were inert on them. Water-induced artefacts, as a result of stuck films in the automatic processor had the highest frequency (n = 21; 34.4 %) while water-bed artefact was rare (n = 1; 2 %). The stages at which artefacts were introduced were noted as pre-processing, processing and post-processing, respectively.

Conclusion: All four investigated darkroom fluids are potential artefactual agents. A knowledge of their distinct characteristics on films and radiographs may help to reduce distractions during reporting, as well as serve as guide to effective remedial actions during subsequent darkroom processing.

Keywords: Artefacts, radiographer, darkroom, processing, fluid

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