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X-RAY THE CERVICAL SPINE

 

X-Ray Images the Cervical Spine


You have a formal request for a radiologic examination of the cervical spine. You have the assistance of additional personnel if required. You will need a properly equipped X-ray exposure room with cassettes of various sizes, sand bags, letter markers, and calipers.

1.  Select the required view(s) based on the request.

2.  Gather the necessary materials and supplies.

a.  Appropriate cassettes.

b.  Sandbags.

c.  Lead shielding.

d.  Letter markers.

e.  Calipers.

3.  Prepare the patient.

a.  Bring the patient into the room.

b.  Ensure the patient is dressed properly.

NOTE: Have the patient remove all items from around their neck, and well as any removable dental work.

c.  Explain the procedure to the patient.

4.  Measure the body part at the entry-exit site of the central ray.

5.  Set the control panel.

a.  Consult the technique chart.

b.  Set the appropriate mAs and kVp on the control panel.

6.  Use the proper size cassette.

a.  Use an 8" x 10" for the AP and open mouth views.

b.  Use a 10" x 12" for the lateral view.

7.  Place the cassette in the bucky lengthwise.

8.  Position the overhead tube.

a.  Set the tube angle perpendicular to the cassette.

NOTE: Angle the tube 15 degrees cephalic for the AP view.

b.  Set the source to image receptor (SID) to 40 inches (101 cm).

NOTE: For the lateral view set the SID at 72 inches (182 cm).

c.  Center the tube to the cassette.

d.  Adjust the conefield to full field coverage.

NOTE: Use an 6 x 6 conefield for the open mouth view.

9.  Place the lead shielding around the patient's lap.

10.  Position for the cervical spine.

a.  AP view.

(1)  Place the patient supine with the vertebral column over the centerline of the table.

(2)  Adjust the median plane and acanthiomeatal line (AML) perpendicular to the table.

(3)  Project the central ray to the lower level of the thyroid cartilage.

b.  Open mouth view.

(1)  Place the patient supine with the vertebral column over the centerline of the table.

(2)  Adjust the median plane and the AML perpendicular to the cassette.

(3)  Have the patient open their mouth to the extreme limits for the exposure.

NOTE: Make sure that when the patient is instructed to open their mouth that only the lower jaw moves. Instruct the patient to keep their tongue in the lower jaw. This will prevent its shadow from being over the atlas and axis.

(4)  Central ray to the center of the open mouth projected to the center of the film.

c.  Lateral view.

(1)  Have the patient standing or seated with their shoulder in firm contact with the cassette.

(2)  Adjust the median plane parallel to the cassette.

(3)  Place the AML parallel to the floor.

(4)  Central ray is horizontal perpendicular to the film, centered at a level of the upper margin of the thyroid cartilage.

11.  Place the appropriate letter marker on the cassette.

12.  Tell the patient, "DO NOT BREATHE OR MOVE."

NOTE: Instruct the patient to say "AH" for the open mouth view.

13.  Make the exposure.

14.  Tell the patient, "RELAX AND BREATHE NORMALLY."

15.  Develop the exposed radiograph(s) with the patient's identification.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

Copyright   SweetHaven Publishing Services
All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015