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ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002

Basic Principles of CT Scanning


ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 2
Basic principles of CT scanning
Basic theory of CT
Whats inside the gantry?
Data acquisition
Image reconstruction
Variations in scanner design
Generation
Detector type
Number of projections and detectors
Slip-ring scanning
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 3
Why CT?
Conventional radiography suffers from the
collapsing of 3D structures onto a 2D image

Although resolution is lower in CT, it has
extremely good low contrast resolution,
enabling the detection of very small changes in
tissue type

CT gives accurate diagnostic information about
the distribution of structures inside the body

ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 4
Basic principles of CT scanning
Basic theory of CT
Whats inside the gantry?
Data acquisition
Image reconstruction
Variations in scanner design
Generation
Detector type
Number of projections and detectors
Slip-ring scanning
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 5
Construction of a CT scanner
Whizzo CT Company
x-ray tube
x-ray detectors
slip rings
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 6
TUBE
DETECTORS
APERTURE
In practice
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 7
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 8
Basic principles of CT scanning
Basic theory of CT
Whats inside the gantry?
Data acquisition
Image reconstruction
Variations in scanner design
Generation
Detector type
Number of projections and detectors
Slip-ring scanning
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 9
Data acquisition
X-ray tube
Slice width
Fan beam
Detectors
Collimators
X-ray emission in all directions
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 10
What are we measuring?
The average linear attenuation
coefficient, , between tube and detectors
Attenuation coefficient
reflects the degree to
which the x-ray
intensity is reduced
by a material
x-ray tube
detector
attenuation
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 11
Projections
2D views - projections at angles all the
way round the patient
sample at each
detector to generate
a projection
rotate tube and
detectors a small
amount and repeat
the measurements
a
t
t
e
n
u
a
t
i
o
n

detector
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 12
Basic principles of CT scanning
Basic theory of CT
Whats inside the gantry?
Data acquisition
Image reconstruction
Variations in scanner design
Generation
Detector type
Number of projections and detectors
Slip-ring scanning
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 13
Back projection
Reverse the process of measurement of
projection data to reconstruct an image
Each projection is smeared back across
the reconstructed image

ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 14
Back projection
2 projections 4 projections
8 projections 16 projections 32 projections
Original object
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 15
Filtered back projection
Back projection produces blurred trans-
axial images
Projection data needs to be filtered before
reconstruction
Different filters can be applied for different
diagnostic purposes
Smoother filters for viewing soft tissue
Sharp filters for high resolution imaging
Back projection process same as before
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 16
Filtered back projection
Filter applied to projection data
-15
-10
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
-15
-10
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
0 2 4 6 8 10
Frequency (lp/cm)
A
m
p
l
i
f
i
c
a
t
i
o
n
smooth
sharp
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Filtered back projection
16 projections
4 projections 2 projections 8 projections
64 projections
64 projections
(not filtered)
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 18
Filtered back projection
original
back
projected
image
filtered back
projected
image
Profile
Filtered profile
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 19
m to CT number
Originally measured was the distribution of m

m values are scaled to that of water to give the
CT number
m
tissue
- m
water

CT number =

x 1000


m
water

Water = 0; Air = -1000; Bone = ~1000
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 20
CT number flexibility
We can change the appearance of the image
by varying the window width and level

This spreads a small range of CT numbers over
a large range of grayscale values

This makes it easy to detect very small
changes in CT number
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 21
CT number window
Same image data at different WL and WW








WL -593, WW 529 WL -12, WW 400
-1000 HU
4000+ HU
WW
WL
0 HU
-1000 HU
4000+ HU
WW
WL
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 22
CT image
Slice
Width
Picture
Element
(PIXEL)
512
PIXELS
Volume
Element
(VOXEL)
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 23
Basic principles of CT scanning
Basic theory of CT
Whats inside the gantry?
Data acquisition
Image reconstruction
Variations in scanner design
Generation
Detector type
Number of projections and detectors
Slip-ring scanning
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 24
Scanner generation
3rd generation

4th generation
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 25
Basic principles of CT scanning
Basic theory of CT
Whats inside the gantry?
Data acquisition
Image reconstruction
Variations in scanner design
Generation
Detector type
Number of projections and detectors
Slip-ring scanning
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 26
Detector type
Pressurised xenon gas

Ionisation

Signal
Scintillation

Photon capture

Light

Photo-diode

Signal
XENON
SOLID STATE
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 27
Xenon detectors
_
+
Xenon Atom
X-ray
Electrical signal
Negative electron
Positive xenon ion
+
-
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 28
Electrical signal
Ceramic scintillators
Scintillator
Photo-diode
Visible photon
X-ray
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 29

Xenon - Single detector chamber
sub-divided by electrodes

Solid state - Detector array made up of
individual elements


Xenon vs. solid state
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 30
Basic principles of CT scanning
Basic theory of CT
Whats inside the gantry?
Data acquisition
Image reconstruction
Variations in scanner design
Generation
Detector type
Number of projections and detectors
Slip-ring scanning
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 31
Lower range scanners:
400 - 600 detectors

Top range scanners:
650 - 900 detectors (per row)
Typically, for 3rd generation scanners:
Number of detectors
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 32
Lower range scanners:
600 - 1000 per image

Top range scanners:
1100 - 1800 per image
Number of projections
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 33
Basic principles of CT scanning
Basic theory of CT
Whats inside the gantry?
Data acquisition
Image reconstruction
Variations in scanner design
Generation
Detector type
Number of projections and detectors
Slip-ring scanning
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 34
Conventional CT Systems
Power to X-Ray Tube via Cord

Scan CW and CCW to Wind/Unwind
Cord
Tube Rotates Around Stationary Patient
(Table Position is Incremented Between
Acquisitions)
Interscan Delays:
3.5 Seconds Between Slices
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 35
Power
supply

Projection
data
Slip ring scanning
Slip Rings
Slip-rings
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 37
Low voltage
AC
mains
Low
voltage
slip ring
High
voltage
generator
X-ray
tube
High voltage
AC
mains
High
voltage
generator
High
voltage
slip ring X-ray
tube
High voltage v low voltage slip rings
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 38
Faster conventional axial scanning
(stepwise table feed)
Interscan delay governed only by time
taken for table to move to new position
(~ 1 sec.)
Advantages of slip ring scanners
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 39
Cine scanning
(no table feed)
continuous series of images at one position

CT fluoroscopy
new image reconstructed several times
during one rotation
Advantages of slip ring scanners
Spiral scanning
(continuous table feed)

ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 40
Spiral (Helical) CT Systems

Power to X-ray Tube via Slip Ring -
Allows Continuous Rotation, No InterScan Delays
Table Moves as Tube Rotates
Synthesizing Projection Data via Interpolation
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 41
0
z, mm
t, sec
Direction of
Continuous
Patient Transport
Center of Spiral Path
Width of Spiral Path (From Collimation)
Pitch=1; Contiguous Spiral
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 42
0
z, mm
t, sec
Center of Image
Width of Image (From Collimation)
Contiguous Reconstruction - No Overlap
Image Number 1 2 3
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 43
0
z, mm
t, sec
Direction of
Continuous
Patient Transport
Center of Spiral Path
Width of Spiral Path (From Collimation)
Pitch=2; Extended Spiral
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 44
0
z, mm
t, sec
Overlapping Reconstruction - 50% Overlap
Image Number 1 2 3
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 45
Image Formation
u Collect Projection Data
u These Data are NOT all at same table
position, so:
u Synthesize a set of Planar Projection Data
via Interpolation (interpolate between
views taken at same projection angle, but
different table positions), then
u Use Filtered Back Projection on
Synthesized Planar Data
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 46
Selected Image Plane
(Arbitrary)
Path of Continuously
Rotating X-ray Tube
(and Projection Data)
0
z, mm
t, sec
Direction of
Continuous
Patient Transport
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 47
Selected Image Plane
(Arbitrary)
Path of Continuously
Rotating X-ray Tube
(and Projection Data)
0
z, mm
t, sec
Direction of
Continuous
Patient Transport
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 48
Image Formation
u Because a VOLUME of Data is Acquired and
Interpolation is used, Images can be formed
ANYWHERE -->
Slice Location is Arbitrary

u Therefore, Overlapping Images can be created
(e.g. 10 mm thick, 5 mm apart).

u Slice Thickness Is Determined by Collimation

ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 49
Index
Index = Interval at which images are
reconstructed
(e.g. image collimation of 10 mm with
index of 5 mm means that images are
reconstructed every 5 mm).

% Overlap = Percent of image that
overlaps with adjacent image. (e.g. 10
mm collimation with 5 mm reconstruction
interval is a 50% overlap).
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 50
Data Acquisition

Pitch = Table Movement per Rotation
X-ray Beam Collimation
Contiguous Spiral
Pitch = 1 (10 mm / 10 mm)
Extended (Non-Contiguous) Spiral
Pitch = 2 (20 mm/ 10 mm)
Overlapping Spiral
Pitch = 1/2 ( 5 mm / 10 mm)
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 51
Spiral CT - Differences From Axial
Image Quality (Assuming 180 reconstruction
algorithm):
Effective Slice Thickness Increases with Pitch
(~10% increase for pitch 1; ~ 30% for pitch 2;
~ 70% for pitch 3)
Hence volume averaging increases with pitch
Noise is greater than Conventional Axial under
same conditions, but does not change with pitch
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 52
Spiral CT - Differences From Axial
Radiation Dose:

For Pitch of 1 ~ Same as Comparable Contiguous
Conventional Scans
For Pitch 1.5 - Approximately 2/3 that of
Contiguous Scans
For Pitch 2 - Approximately 1/2 of Contiguous
Scans

Radiation Dose Proportional to 1/pitch
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 53
Spiral CT Systems
System Requirements:
High Heat Unit Capacity Tube to Sustain
Continuous Scanning- Now 5 and 6 Million
Heat Units
Faster Rotation Times to Get Through a
Volume Even Quicker; < 0.5 second rotation
times available
Faster Data Transfer Systems to Get Data
From DAS - Fiber Optics
Faster Computers to Reconstruct
- 0.1 to 0.5 seconds per image

ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 54
Spiral CT Systems
Advantages over Conventional:

Faster Acquisition

Follow Contrast Quicker

Begin to Image Physiology/Angiography

Reduce Breathing Artifacts/Misregistration
ImPACT Day: 23rd July 2002 - Basic Principles of CT Scanning 55
Spiral CT Systems
Limitations:
Motion Blurring (Effective Slice is Thicker)

Data/Image Overload

Memory and Data Transfer May Be
Limiting Factors