The purpose of this work was to examine the effects of relationship functions between diagnostic image quality and radiation dose on the governing equations for image acquisition parameter variations in X-ray imaging. Various equations were derived for the optimal selection of peak kilovoltage (kVp) and exposure parameter (milliAmpere second, mAs) in computed tomography (CT), computed radiography (CR), and direct digital radiography. Logistic, logarithmic, and linear functions were employed to establish the relationship between radiation dose and diagnostic image quality. The radiation dose to the patient, as a function of image acquisition parameters (kVp, mAs) and patient size (d), was used in radiation dose and image quality optimization. Both logistic and logarithmic functions resulted in the same governing equation for optimal selection of image acquisition parameters using a dose efficiency index. For image quality as a linear function of radiation dose, the same governing equation was derived from the linear relationship. The general equations should be used in guiding clinical X-ray imaging through optimal selection of image acquisition parameters. The radiation dose to the patient could be reduced from current levels in medical X-ray imaging.