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Notebook # 13

Effects of Quality and Quantity of X-ray Beam

X-ray quantity is the measure of the number of photons in the useful beam and can also be named the x-ray output, intensity, or exposure. X-ray
quality is the measurement of the penetrating ability of the x-ray beam. Density is the degree of blackening of an x-ray film.

Factors affecting X-ray



mA x s = mAs


Definition/ Uses

Density/IR Exposure Relationship

-mAs is the Primary controller of the x-ray quantity.

-Exposure time is directly proportional to the # of electrons
crossing the tube & is also directly proportional to the x-rays
-Tube current- # of e-s crossing the tube
-Exposure time- how long electrons are allowed to cross
-X-ray quantity is directing proportional to mAs so if mAs doubles,
x-ray exposure (R) doubles.

-Same density/IR exposure will result from

different mA and time selections (intensity
and duration) provided that mAs totals are
-As long as mAs is constant, any combination
of mA & exposure time will create same
density/IR exposure
-insufficient mAs will result in underexposed
image and excessive mAs will cause overexposed






(kVp) affects the quantity because more interactions occur at the

target as kVp increases.
-Increasing kVp on the control panel will cause an increase in
speed and energy of the electrons applied across x-ray tube.
*as kVp doubles, the amount of x-ray photons increases
approximately 4 times*

-Changes in kVp have effect the penetrability

of beam resulting in image with less contrast.

As distance from the tube is increased, the intensity will decrease.

(Inversely proportional)
-as the useful beam spreads & widens, x-ray intensity (quantity)
begins to diminish
-actual # of photons created stays the same but the distribution
varies depending on the distance.
Filtration is the process of eliminating undesirable low-energy xray photons by the insertion of absorbing materials into the
primary beam.

Density maintenance formula =

-a smaller change in kVp will have a greater

impact on x-ay emission in the lower kVp
ranges than in higher kvp ranges

-adjust mAs to compensate for changes in
-as the distance increases, intensity decreases,
which will cause a decrease in IR exposure
-In the emission spectrum, added filtration
affects the amplitude by lowering the curve
and affects position which shifts to the right so

-hardening of the beam occurs because it removes low-energy or
(soft photons)
*reason for filtration is to eliminate photons that would cause
increased radiation dose to patient but not enhance the image*

you decrease in quantity and increase in


-you will have a harder beam with

increased average energy


-X-ray quality is represented by half value layer

(HVL)=the HVL of an x-ray beam is that
thickness of absorbing material needed to
reduce the x-ray intensity (quantity) to half its
original value.
-Because kvp affects quality and quantity
change of only 15% will cause doubling of
If maintenance of exposure is desireddecrease kvp by 15% and double mAs &
increase kvp by 15% halve mAs
- each electron has more energy, which results
with a beam with greater penetrability

-Primary controller of contrast which is the

differences in radiographic densities
-15% rule says that an increase in kVp by 15% will
cause a doubling in exposure and will cause
doubling the mA or doubling exposure time
-If kVp is decreased by 15% the exposure will be
reduced by one-half
-kvp adjustments should not be used to control
density/IR exposures!


Process of eliminating undesirable low energy

x-ray photons by the insertion of absorbing
materials into the primary beam. It allows the
RT to shape the photon emission spectrum into
a more useful beam.

When filtration is added to the tube, photons dont

have enough energy to pass through so they are
absorbed by the filter
-Increased filtration decrease image receptor
-Decrease filtration increase image receptor