Dr. S. Samuel Bederman
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon & Back, Spine, & Neck Specialist located in Orange, CA
When it comes to getting an X-ray or CT scan, many people – especially parents of young children and teenagers – are concerned about radiation. EOS is a 2D/3D X-ray imaging alternative that minimizes radiation exposure.
What is EOS imaging?
EOS imaging is a low dose, weight-bearing X-ray technology. It can simultaneously take full-body, frontal, and lateral (side view) images of the skeletal system of a patient in a standing or sitting position, using significantly less radiation than traditional X-rays or CT scans.
With EOS, two dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) orthopedic images can be produced to assist doctors with the diagnosis, treatment, and management of medical conditions of the spine, hips, and knees.
What is EOS imaging used for?
EOS imaging is used for anatomical assessment of the entire musculoskeletal system. The technology is frequently used for the following conditions:
- limb length discrepancy
- balance and posture complications
EOS can also support orthopedic surgeons with their presurgical planning because it acquires and displays the patient’s anatomical skeletal structure in their true size, volume, lengths, and angles. This allows surgeons to perform precise presurgical planning and postsurgical assessment for spine surgery.
How does EOS imaging work?
During an EOS exam, the patient will stand or sit in an upright position inside the cabin. Two very narrow X-ray beams scan the entire body from the top down creating 2D X-ray images. After the images are acquired, a 3D model can be developed using a special computer program.
Unlike traditional X-ray imaging, where the patient may have to be repositioned to get the views needed, EOS performs a simultaneous scan collecting all the imaging necessary. Capturing frontal and lateral (side-view), full-body images takes less than twenty seconds. If a full-body image is not necessary (such as for a knee condition), the EOS system can be set to scan a particular region of the patient’s anatomy.
How does EOS reduce radiation exposure?
EOS uses a Nobel Prize-winning detector design capable of capturing more photons (X-rays) than a conventional X-ray detector. Because fewer photons are required to produce the diagnostic image, fewer X-rays are needed to create a high-quality image.
Very thin slots collimate the X-ray beam. This means that the particles of its rays are accurately parallel and travel in a narrow path, which exposes the patient to only a minimal number of X-rays.
Technical parameters of the acquisition are adjusted by highly skilled radiology technologists for the size and age of the patient to maintain the lowest dose possible.
How much radiation does an EOS scan emit?
A typical EOS scan radiation dose equivalent to about 50-85% less than the dose of a conventional X-ray.
EOS is pediatric-friendly. For some children and teens who require frequent imaging to monitor the progress of a chronic skeletal or musculoskeletal condition (such as scoliosis), multiple doses of radiation from standard X-rays may increase their life-long radiation exposure. EOS can replace standard X-rays in these instances and aims to minimize risks associated with radiation exposure over their lifetime.