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UAB utilizes new method of X-ray imaging that captures the body in motion

  • October 07, 2021
The new technology allows health care personnel to observe movement of the lungs, diaphragm and joints.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Radiology has added a new method of X-ray imaging to the Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital that allows health care personnel to observe the bones and organs while in motion. 

This new technology is dynamic digital radiography, also known as DDR, and it allows physicians to watch a patient’s motion of lungs and diaphragm during breathing to better analyze and diagnose suspected lung nodules, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, and interstitial lung disease and to determine whether the diaphragm is paralyzed. Doctors can also observe the full range of joint motion to help evaluate suspected injuries.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our patient care at UAB,” said Satinder Singh, M.D., chief of Cardiopulmonary Radiology in the Department of Radiology. “DDR allows physicians to see what has not been seen before with static medical radiographic imaging and provides immediate dynamic information, which helps improve the quality and specificity of diagnosis. This single technology provides more information with one test, thereby reducing health care costs and radiation exposure to the patient.”  

While in use, the RADspeed Pro X-ray system takes a series of still images at a rapid speed with low radiation to create a cinematic loop. The exam takes less than a minute and captures up to 20 seconds of movement. This system can also be used for traditional static X-ray images of a patient. The information provided by DDR may help reduce the need for more extensive imaging such as an MRI or CT.  

The DDR acquisition system was developed by Shimadzu Medical Systems, USA and Konica Minolta Healthcare. Learn more about UAB’s radiology services here