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5 C-Arm Acronyms You Need to Know

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Let’s be honest; we’ve all been in a scenario where an acronym has been used in conversation and we've felt like the odd one out because we didn’t really know what it meant. Starting to reminisce on some painful middle school memories?

Good. Let’s move on.

The medical world is no stranger to assigning acronyms to commonly used phrases or component names. If you're new to owning or using a c-arm, knowing what these abbreviations mean will help you understand the lingo and allow for clearer communication between you, your staff, and the service providers working on your c-arm equipment.

Let’s breakdown a few acronyms commonly used to reference functions and parts for C-Arms:


DICOM: Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine – A standard for handling, storing, printing and transmitting information in medical imaging. DICOM files can be exchanged between two entities that are capable of receiving images and patient data in the DICOM format. 

To allow for clean integration between scanners and printers there needs to be a common communication language. DICOM is the generally accepted file format of the medical imaging world. As with most communication protocols, DICOM is continually being tweaked by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (or NEMA) as they are the patent holders of this file format.


PACS: Picture Archiving and Communication System – A medical imaging network technology which provides economical storage of, and convenient access to, images from multiple modalities.

The PACS server plays an integral role in the exporting, sharing and storing of patient information and images.  From larger cardiac cine sequences to individual spot films, this server can host a multitude of different studies from a plethora of modalities. Getting a PACS server set up and communicating properly can be a very tedious process. Do your homework and make sure that you’re bringing in a qualified PACS administrator to complete this operation.

3. CCD Camera

CCD Camera: Charge-Coupled Device Camera - A camera which incorporates a CCD to create high-resolution images under a variety of light conditions.

To maintain your c-arm’s excellent image quality, your CCD camera will need to be periodically checked and calibrated. This camera is coupled with another important c-arm part commonly called the II. 

4. II

II: Image Intensifier - Imaging component which converts x-rays into a visible image.

The image intensifier is one of the most significant components on your c-arm. This takes the x-ray emitted from the tube and translates it into a visible image. Image intensifier size will often determine what types of studies will be done on a given machine. The most common image intensifier dimensions on the c-arm market are between 6" – 12”.

5. CPU Board

CPU board – Central Processing Unit – The main core and "brain" of your system's computer.

A functioning CPU board is crucial to your system's overall functionality. It allows the internal components of your C-arm to communicate and work in tandem together.

These are just a few of the acronyms associated with c-arm parts and accessories. Hopefully, the next time your service provider fires one of these at you, you'll be ready. If you don't have a regular service provider or if you still have questions about the technology, Block Imaging Parts & Service has engineering and medical imaging parts specialists that can help answer your questions and find what you need for your c-arm.