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Computerized Tomography

[ Computerized Axial Tomography ]

CT scanners or CAT scanners

D. J. McMahon 2014

rev 140219

Tomography : an image from many slices (Greek: tomos = slice) Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of the body from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation.

Individual slice data is generated using an X-ray source that rotates around the patient; X-ray sensors are positioned on the opposite side of the circle from the X-ray source. These sensors use scintillation systems based on photo diodes. Many data scans are progressively taken as the body is gradually passed through the gantry. The images are combined together by mathematical procedures known as tomographic reconstruction. Contrast between soft tissues can be increased by injection of iodine-based solutions.

Evolution of CT scanning -

Increased beam size, and increased number of detectors. Most current installations are third and fourth generation.

More detectors and smaller detectors to give better resolution

Enhanced image data can be reconstructed thru algorithms

64-slice CT unit -


X-ray tube X-ray beam Gantry rotation

D X-ray detectors

Open CTs running -

CT de-install

Toshiba Aquilion -

80 detectors, 160 slices


First CT Scanner (circa 1970)

State of the Art CT Scanner 0.5 seconds 0.5 mm x 0.5 mm 256,000

Time to acquire one CT image: 5 minutes Pixel size: Number of pixels in an image: 3 mm x 3 mm 6,400

Early scan, ~1975

Scan, ~2003

Siemens Definitionscanner: Dual-source CT

Two x-ray tubes are operated at different tube potentials: one at a low energy (e.g. 80 or 100 kV), and the other at a high energy (e.g. 140 kV). Different tube energies allow for differentiation between materials such as iodine, calcium and uric acid, and is used to distinguish bone or iodinated contrast material, as well as the visualization of blood perfusion. Dual-energy CT can also be used to identify the composition of materials in the body, and to identify renal stone type or to detect uric acid deposits in joints.

Typical applications for CT:

Chest: Lungs, heart, esophagus, major blood vessels, the tissues in the center of the chest, lung cancer, pulmonary embolism. Abdomen: Infection, tumors, an aneurysm, foreign objects, bleeding. Urinary tract: Kidneys, urethra, and bladder (called a KUB). Liver: A CT scan can find liver tumors, liver diseases. Pancreas. Gallbladder and bile ducts. Adrenal glands.

Pelvis: Problems of organs in the pelvis. - Uterus, fallopian tubes, etc - Prostrate

Typical CT study of a skull :

Three-dimensional CT scanning:



Revealing bone densities and vessels by manipulation of the data -

Two views of a femoral fracture -

How much ??
4-slice scanner: $85,000 - $115,000

16-slice scanner:
64-slice scanner:

$145,000 - $225,000
$250,000 - $450,000

Service contracts:

$100,000 - $135,000

CT tube replacement: $50,000 - $100,000

Major players in CT scanners:

G.E. Medical ( GEMS)

Philips Siemens Toshiba

Major players in CT service and tubes: