CDC immigration requirement update : all U.S. panel physician sites required to use digital radiography for chest radiographs of applicants for U.S. immigration by October 1, 2014
Published Date:October 1, 2013
Corporate Authors:National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (U.S.). Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.
Description:This update applies to chest imaging of persons overseas applying for U.S. immigration status and nonimmigrants who are required to have an overseas medical examination, hereafter referred to as applicants.
The update provides notice to all panel physician sites, 1 year in advance of the implementation date, to allow sufficient time to comply with digital radiography requirements.
The Culture and Directly Observed Tuberculosis Technical Instructions (http://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/exams/ti/panel/tuberculosis-panel-technical- instructions.html) define the indications for chest radiography during the overseas medical screening examination. Currently, panel physician sites may perform plain chest radiographs using either analog or digital radiography. Digital radiography includes both computed radiography (CR) and direct digital radiography (DDR). While digital radiography systems are initially more expensive than analog systems, long-term savings are realized due to absence of film and processing costs and faster applicant imaging times. Compared with analog radiography, digital radiography generally produces better image quality due to fewer technical requirements. It offers more consistent image labeling and easier image comparison, and allows physicians to easily optimize, store and send chest radiographs. In addition, if DDR systems are used properly, DDR delivers lower radiation doses during exposure. These features improve diagnostic interpretation and increase applicant safety.
Therefore, as of October 1, 2014, all U.S. panel sites must use digital radiography (CR or DDR) to obtain plain chest radiographs. This means that all applicants applying to enter the United States who are required to have a chest radiograph, must undergo digital radiography, as of October 1, 2014. Digitized analog images are not digital images and are not acceptable.
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