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Date:7/14/2010

Research have developed a way to use an array of separate sources, each of which covers a small portion of the patient. Each can be modulated in intensity so as to achieve sharp images with the lowest possible amount of radiation. Only one source is active at a time, and can be modulated so that within one position the desired intensity delivers a shaped dose. It's like a personalized CT scanner for each patient.

The GE sources achieve beam powers of 60 kW. Images are sharper than usual because the conical X-ray beams are narrower than for traditional CT machines and produce less scattered X-rays. This eliminates the need for baffles to block scattered X-rays (which would otherwise degrade the image quality), allowing still more detector cells to be brought into play. The detector in the inverse geometry CT system (IGCT) is about one-fifth the size used in conventional CT units. A higher active area also means the possibility of realizing smaller cells and higher spatial resolution.

According to GE scientist Kris Frutschy, multisource technology is at the research stage and is not yet commercially available. Furthermore, the reconstruction software will necessarily be more sophisticated for multisource systems since the data from all sources must be calibrated and combined.

The system development work, led by Bruno De Man at GE-Research in conjunction with Norbert J. Pelc at Stanford University, has progressed from simulations to the construction of a working proof of concept of both the multisource and the complete IGCT system.

In the future, the development team plans to scale up the experimental system from 8 to 32 sources, which will allow larger specimens to be imaged.

"The X-ray multisource and IGCT system represent a radical departure from conventional CT," says Frutschy. "Our test results show that one can construct such a system, and that it is possible to deliver a high-power x-ray multisource tube with 60
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Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
858-775-4080
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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