A study was designed to assess the efficacy of xeroradiography for the identification of tracheal and esophageal foreign bodies. AP, lateral, and oblique conventional X-rays and xeroradiograms were taken of non-radio-paque objects placed in the trachea and esophagus of a canine subject. Randomly numbered foreign body projections shown by conventional and xeroradiography were presented to radiologists with a list of the foreign bodies employed in the study. Series of films were also presented to radiologists and otolaryngologists who had no prior knowledge of types of foreign bodies used. There was no significant advantage of xeroradiography over conventional radiography in identification of the foreign bodies. Lateral and oblique projections were shown to be far superior to the AP projection for demonstration of foreign bodies. Based on these data we do not feel that the increase in radiation exposure necessitated by xeroradiography justifies its routine use. It is recommended only as an adjunctive diagnostic tool in specific circumstances.
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