Conventional radiography is typically conducted in laboratory settings due to the necessity of a dark room and chemicals for image development. However, since portable x-ray tubes and their control panels are available and can be made ready for travel, techniques have been developed to construct dark rooms in the field for film processing and x-ray cassette loading. These field dark rooms require creativity and will increase the total travel container count and often exceed weight allowances. A standard radiograph produces a 2D image in varied shades of gray, some not within the range of vision of the human eye. The image, given appropriate exposure, positioning, and developing parameters, will yield a high-resolution shadowgram of the object. Spatial relationships are not apparent using a single view; therefore, at least two views are usually taken. Still, the absence of color, contour, and depth may limit the interpretability of the data. Once the image is reviewed, further data analysis targets can be determined. The VE can then approach these targets demonstrating color, contour, and depth, and, if desired, retrieval.
Instant radiography is conducted in the same manner as standard radiography, except that no dark room is required. The image is presented on instant film, which develops in 1 min and is portable. Instant film is preferred in the field as dark rooms and developing chemicals can be avoided, increasing the portability of the radiography applications. The images produced are of very high quality. One variation is that the image is reversed, in that what would be light on a standard x-ray film is dark on the instant film. If desired, the image may be scanned and digitally reversed to mimic the standard x-ray image. Photographic paper too can be used for x-ray imaging. Details regarding the use of photographic film can be found in Chapter 2 of this text. Videoendoscopy combined with conventional radiography, using instant film or photographic paper image receptors, creates a nearly ideal combination of technologies that can be applied in the field. Both conventional and instant radiography has been used in conjunction with videoendos-copy to locate targets within the mummified remains, to document the position of the endoscope, and to document any alterations following the endoscopy procedure such as artifact retrieval maneuvers.
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