Computed tomography

Principle
It is a complex application of Law of Tangent, image quality improves with number of image forming rays passing tangentially through the object. It can be re-constructed from multiple projection of object.

X-ray projection formed by scanning a thin cross-section of the body with narrow xray beam & measuring the transmitted radiation with radiation sensitive detectors. Detector adds up all the energy of transmitted photons and is processed by computer to form an image

CT consist of high thermal capacity x-ray tube and generator mounted on rigid circular support called Gantry, which rotates around the patients. Detectors are also mounted on the gantry opposite to x-ray tube. Images are received as counts. Large Data acquired is processed by computers to reveal an image or tomogram

Generations of CT machines
First generation Second generation Third generation Fourth generation Spiral CT

Difference in all above generation is speed of scanning and movements of gantry. In first two generation there are 1) Linear & 2) Rotary movements & In next two generation there is only one movement i.e rotary movement.

Original scanner developed by Hounsfield. It had 1) X-ray tube, 2) Pair of detector, 3) Head enclosed in water-bath, 4) Third detector between the x-ray tube and patient, 5) Rigid gantry maintaining the relative position of tube & detectors. It had linear & rotary movements X-ray tube used to be on during linear movement & off during rotary movements

First Generation
It had single pencil like x-ray beam with single detector. It had both linear & rotary movements Rotary movements was of 1 degree at end of linear scan. Each tomogram required 5 min & total study time of 25-30 min.

Second Generation
It had fan like x-ray beam with multiple detectors, max up to 30 in some machines. It had both linear & rotary movements Rotary movements was of 30 degree arc thus cutting down the scan time Each tomographic section required 10 to 90 sec.

Third Generation
This type has only rotation movementsRotate rotate type, with fan shaped collimated X-ray tube with multiple (over 700) detectors loaded on Gantry which moves completely around the patients. Fan beam should completely cover the object Single image is computed from 1000 images in short time as less as 1 sec.

Fourth generation
In this type the detectors form a ring that completely surrounds the patient and are fixed. X-ray tube rotates around in circle inside the detector ring and has fan shaped collimated x-ray beam. It is rotate-fixed type with patient advancing in gantry. Scan time is lesser than 1 sec for each section. Advantage– Advantage– speed Disadvantage– Disadvantage increased amount of scattered radiations

Types of detectors
Two types 1. Scintillation crystals- Bismuth germanate crystals coupled with photomultiplier or sodium iodide crystals, are more efficient and has less afterglow . 2. Ionization chamber containing xenon gas under pressure, they have no afterglow but are slightly less efficient.

Image Reconstruction
Image is first converted to digital image and then to conventional gray scale image Image of the section is broken down in , Tiny picture elements called pixels pixels, Projection of solid cores of tissues called voxels. Computer counts the light flashes in solid detectors & ions in ionization detectors and gives them a CT number according to there attenuation coefficients

Reconstruction of whole image of the section by multiple projection is a complex and is done by computer. One of the method is back-projection. back-projection Contrast can be adjusted by operators

Spiral CT
Newer method X-ray tube moves continuously with slip-ring technique, the outer fixed detector ring and inner rotating x-ray tube ring having brushes that remain in electrical contact with the inside of outer ring. X-ray tube moves continuously with patient moving cephalad with constant rate producing a spiral or helix around the patient.

Tube is energized for as much as 30 sec at a time as compared to conventional which is energized for 1 sec. Tube has a very high thermal anode. Cadmium tungstate is used preferred crystal photoiodides used. Reconstruction is by interpolation I.e calculation of intermediate values in a series. It has 3 dimensional image constructed

Advantages of spiral over conventional CT
Shorter scanning time Reconstruction along z axis with overlapping of successive images leading to detection of small lesions Fewer motion artifacts 3D reconstruction of image

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.