Digital Longitudinal Tomography Using Backprojection.
Conventional tomography allows a single section to be demonstrated on film with a single sweep of an x -ray tube. Each sweep of the x-ray tube exposes the patient to approximately one rad of radiation dose. This tomographic method has been extended by using a backprojection method to allow six degrees of freedom in the selection of the plane to be synthesized. As many planes as desired can be retrospectively tomosynthesized from a single sweep of the apparatus. This can greatly reduce the dose to the patient as well as eliminate patient motion artifacts that would occur with individually acquired slices using the traditional analogue film method. A linear tomographic table was modified by the addition of a digital imaging chain so that a set of projection images could be acquired with each sweep of the apparatus. The digital images were manipulated by a computer to tomosynthesize retrospectively any desired plane. This advanced tomographic system would complement CT which cannot yet match the resolution of this system for longitudinal studies. Various special phantoms were imaged in order to provide data which were used to determine the operating characteristics of this particular system. The characteristics measured are the system gray level response, sampling density, modulation transfer function, small area contrast, detection limits, signal-to-noise ratio, noise Wiener spectrum, and slice thickness. This laboratory piece of equipment could significantly detect approximately 1.7% contrast with a 1 mm pixel size. The MTF values and limiting resolution were approximately one -third of what can be obtained with current CT scanners. The system performed precisely as the computer simulations indicated. The dynamic range of the display is less than that of the image. Windowing of the final image can increase displayed contrast up to the limits imposed by noise. This is an improvement compared to film. With current state -of-the-art equipment, a little engineering and money, the system can be greatly improved.
- Pub Date:
- September 1987
- Physics: Radiation