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Energy-discriminating K-edge x-ray computed tomography system

Manabu Watanabea, Eiichi Satob, Purkhet Abderyimc, Hiroshi Matsukiyoa, Akihiro Osawaa, Toshiyuki Enomotoa, Jiro Nagaoa, Seiichiro Nomiyad, Keitaro Hitomi e, Akira Ogawaf, Shigehiro Satog, Toshio Ichimaruh The 3rd Department of Surgery, Toho University School of Medicine, 2-17-6 Ohashi, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8515, Japan b Department of Physics, Iwate Medical University, 2-1-1 Nishitokuta, Yahaba 028-3694, Japan; c Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Iwate University, 4-3-5 Ueda, Morioka 020-8551, Japan; d Raytec Inc., 5-6-27 Youtou, Utsunomiya 321-0904, Japan; e Department of Electronics and Intelligent systems, Tohoku Institute of Technology, 35-1 Yagiyama Kasumi-cho, Taihaku-ku, Sendai 982-8577, Japan; f Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Iwate Medical University, 19-1 Uchimaru, Morioka 020-8505, Japan; g Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Iwate Medical University, 19-1 Uchimaru, Morioka 020-8505, Japan; h Department of Radiological Technology, School of Health Sciences, Hirosaki University, 66-1 Honcho, Hirosaki 036-8564, Japan
ABSTRACT
An energy-discriminating K-edge x-ray Computed Tomography (CT) system is useful for increasing contrast resolution of a target region and for diagnosing cancers utilizing a drug delivery system. The CT system is of the first generation type and consists of an x-ray generator, a turn table, a translation stage, a two-stage controller, a cadmium telluride (CdTe) detector, a charge amplifier, a shaping amplifier, a multi-channel analyzer (MCA), a counter board (CB), and a personal computer (PC). The K-edge CT is accomplished by repeating translation and rotation of an object. Penetrating x-ray spectra from the object are measured by a spectrometer utilizing the CdTe detector, amplifiers, and MCA. Both the photon energy and the energy width are selected by the MCA for discriminating photon energy. Enhanced iodine K-edge x-ray CT was performed by selecting photons with energies just beyond iodine K-edge energy of 33.2 keV. Keywords: x-ray CT, CdTe detector, K-edge CT, energy discriminating, microanalysis, cancer diagnosis
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1.

INTRODUCTION

Monochromatic x-ray generators have been developed corresponding to specific radiographic objectives. To perform high-speed radiography, we have developed monochromatic flash x-ray generators1-5 with x-ray durations below 1 s. In particular, we have confirmed the irradiation of clean K-series characteristic x-rays and their harmonics from weakly ionized linear plasmas. Next, steady-state monochromatic x-rays are also useful for performing mammography, iodine K-edge angiography,6-11 gadolinium K-edge angiography,12 and x-ray fluorescence analysis of low-density elements in biomedical objects. Monochromatic radiography is realizable utilizing photon-counting imaging by selecting photon energy and by controlling energy width. The simplest energy-discriminating x-ray camera consists of a CdTe x-ray spectrometer, a CB, and an x-y stage, and radiography is performed by scanning an object using the CdTe detector driven by the stage. Using this single sensor camera, monochromatic energy discriminating radiography can be performed using polychromatic x-rays. We are developing nanoparticles as x-ray quantum dots for diagnosing cancers because the particles tend to accumulate in cancers. In addition, several different drug delivery systems (DDSs) have been developed for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Therefore, an x-ray CT system is desired for fundamental studies on microanalysis by detecting K-edge absorptions and x-ray fluorescences.
Penetrating Radiation Systems and Applications IX edited by F. Patrick Doty, H. Bradford Barber, Hans Roehrig, Richard C. Schirato Proc. of SPIE Vol. 7080, 70800B, (2008) 0277-786X/08/$18 doi: 10.1117/12.795874 Proc. of SPIE Vol. 7080 70800B-1 2008 SPIE Digital Library -- Subscriber Archive Copy

In this paper, we report a K-edge x-ray CT system utilizing a CdTe detector, used to perform fundamental studies on cancer diagnosis.

2. X-RAY CT SYSTEM
Figure 1 shows a block diagram of an x-ray CT system utilizing a CdTe detector (Fig. 2). The CT system is of the first generation type and consists of an x-ray generator, a turn table, a translation stage, a two-stage controller, the CdTe detector, two amplifiers, a MCA, a CB, and a PC. Tomography was performed by repeating translation and rotation of an object. Both the turn table and the translation stage are driven by the stage controller. Two pitches of translation and rotation are selected corresponding to objectives, and spatial resolution improves with decreasing two pitches. Penetrating x-ray spectra from an object are measured by a spectrometer utilizing the CdTe detector system and the MCA, and both the photon energy and the energy width are selected by the MCA. A 0.1-mm-diameter lead pinhole was used for decreasing count rate and for preventing pileups of event signals, and photon number is counted by the CB. To perform enhanced iodine K-edge x-ray CT, optimum photon energies just beyond K-edge energy 33.2 keV are selected. Figure 3 shows a block diagram of a 100-m-focus x-ray generator used in this experiment, and consists of a main controller, an x-ray tube, negative and positive Cockcroft-Walton circuits, and an insulation transformer. Tube voltage, current, and exposure time can be controlled by a main controller. High-voltage line employs the Cockcroft-Walton circuits, and positive and negative high voltages are applied to the anode and cathode electrodes, respectively. Filament heating current is supplied by an AC power supply with an insulation transformer which is used for isolation from the high voltage from the Cockcroft-Walton circuit. In this experiment, the tube voltage applied ranged from 40 to 70 kV, and the tube current was regulated as 26 A.

stage

X-ray tube

Chgarge amp.

Shaping amp.

MCA

Counter board

Turn table
CdTe cooler
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Two-stage controller

Fig. 1. Block diagram of an energy-discriminating x-ray K-edge CT system.

Positive Cockcroft-Walton Circuit

Controller

CdTe detector

E;thbe
Negative Cockcroft-Walton

0.1-mm-diameter lead pinhole


Translation stage

source

LIIJ

Circuit

Insulation transformer

Fig. 2. Experimental setup of the K-edge CT system utilizing a CdTe detector.

Fig. 3. Block diagram of a cerium x-ray generator.

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3. X-RAY INTENSITY AND SPECTRA


X-ray intensity was measured using a Victoreen 660 ionization chamber with a tube current of 26 A at 1.5 m from x-ray source (Fig. 4). When tube voltage was increased, x-ray intensity increased. At a tube voltage 60 kV, the x-ray intensity was 7.98 Gy/s. In order to measure x-ray spectra, we employed a CdTe detector (CDTE2020X, Hamamatsu Photonics). At a constant tube voltage of 60 kV, bremsstrahlung peak energy was 21 keV without filtering (Fig. 5). Next, the peak energy increased after penetrating water vial of 16.5 mm in diameter. When two vials filled with two-different-density iodine media were used, iodine K-edges were observed, and bremsstrahlung spectral intensity with energies just beyond K-edge decreased with increasing iodine density (Fig. 6). Figure 7 shows x-ray spectra used for tomography, and low-density iodine media can be detected using spectra with energies beyond K-edge.
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X-rays without filtering


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X-rays after penetrating a vial filled with water

Fig. 4. X-ray intensity at 1.5 m from the source and a tube current of 26 A.
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Fig. 5. X-ray spectra without filtering, and spectra after penetrating a vial filled with water.
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Fig. 6. X-ray spectra after penetrating vials with changing iodine density.

Fig. 7. X-ray spectra used for imaging. X-rays with energies beyond iodine K-edge (33.2 keV) is used for K-edge CT.

4.

TOMOGRAPHY

Energy-discriminating CT was performed at a tube voltage of 60 kV. Figure 8 shows two tomograms of glass vials filled with iodine media of 15 and 30 mg/mL. Utilizing K-edge CT method, image contrast increased with increasing iodine density. However, the density slightly increased using spectra with energies just below K-edge. Two tomograms of a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantom are shown in Fig. 9, and image contrast of iodine is high using spectra with energies beyond K-edge. In K-edge tomography of a rabbit heart, a coronary artery filled with iodine microspheres of 15 m in diameter is visible (Fig. 10). After injection of iodine based contrast media, the iodine elements remain in a cancer for a long time, and a cancer in a rabbit ear is observed (Fig. 11).

5.

CONCLUSIONS AND OUTLOOK

We developed an energy-discriminating x-ray CT system utilizing the CdTe detector to perform enhanced iodine

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K-edge CT using photons with energies just beyond K-edge. In this CT system, x-ray exposure time for obtaining one tomogram increases with decreasing pitches of translation and rotation and with increasing counting time. However, the exposure time can be decreased by increasing velocities of the translation and rotation. In addition, the maximum count rate of the CdTe spectrometer should be increased to prevent pileups of event signals by decreasing time constants of amplifiers. This CdTe detector used in this experiment detects x-ray photons with energies ranging from 5 to 150 keV, and various biomedical objects can be imaged using optimum x-ray spectra discriminated by the MCA. Next, the third generation type energy-discriminating CT utilizing a CdTe line detector is useful for decreasing exposure time. Lately, several different DDSs have been developed and applied to cancer diagnosis using molecular-level imaging. In view of this situation, an XRF CT system for microanalysis is useful for cancer diagnosis because several drugs accumulate in cancers for a long time with low densities.
using x-rays below K-edge using x-rays below K-edge

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...'30 mg/mL iodine medium

.;water

.30 mg/mL iodine medium

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60 mm

Fig. 8. Tomograms of two vials filled with two-different-density iodine media.

Fig. 9. Tomograms of a PMMA phantom filled with water and iodine medium.

Coronary trtery

60 mm

Rabbit heart

60 mm

Fig. 10. Tomography of a rabbit heart, and coronary arteries are filled with iodine based microspheres.

Fig. 11. Tomography of a rabbit ear with a cancer region. Iodine elements remained in the cancer region.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research and Advanced Medical Scientific Research from

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MECSST, Health and Labor Sciences Research Grants, Grants from the Keiryo Research Foundation, The Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
[1]

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