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Computed Tomography Principles

Ge Wang, Ph.D.
Department of Radiology
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA

Learning Objectives
CT terms
Data acquisition
Basic elements of CT scanner
Scanning modes
Image reconstruction
Spiral/helical CT
Image resolution and artifacts
Interaction among imaging parameters
Quality assurance
Radiation exposure

A Little Bit History

Nobel prizes
Roentgen (1901): Discovery of X-rays
Hounsfield & Cormack (1979): Computed tomography

Computed Tomography Principles


1. Projection measurement
2. Scanning modes
3. Scanner systems
4. Image reconstruction

X-ray Interactions - Photoelectric


Effect

(From Aracor)

Photoelectric effect results in total absorption of


the X-ray photon and the emission of a bound electron

X-ray Interactions - Compton


Scatter

(From Aracor)

Compton Scatter results in a free electron &


a scattered (less energetic) photon

Source and
Detectors
Source

- Rotating anode disk


- Small focal spot
down to 0.6 mm
- Polychromatic beam

Detectors

- Xenon (50-60%)
- Scintillation (>90%)
(From Siemens)

Exponential Attenuation of X-ray


Ni

Ni

X-rays

No Nie

No

Ni: input intensity of X-ray


No: output intensity of X-ray
: linear X-ray attenuation

No

N o N i e ( 1 2 3 ) x
x

Attenuated
more

Ray-Sum of X-ray Attenuation


Ni

Ray-sum

No

No Nie

Ni
k x ln
k
No

k x
k

Line integral

Ni

(
x
)
dx

ln

No

Projection & Sinogram


Sinogram:
All projections

Projection:
All ray-sums in a direction

P(t)

y
t

f(x,y)
X-rays

Sinogram

Completeness Condition
There exists at least a source on any line
intersecting a cross-section

Computed Tomography Principles


1. Projection measurement
2. Scanning modes
3. Scanner systems
4. Image reconstruction

First Generation

One detector
Translation-rotation
Parallel-beam

Second Generation

Multiple detectors
Translation-rotation
Small fan-beam

Third Generation

Multiple detectors
Translation-rotation
Large fan-beam

Fourth Generation

Detector ring
Source-rotation
Large fan-beam

Third & Fourth Generations

(From Siemens)
(From Picker)

Spiral/Helical Scanning

Simultaneous

Source rotation
Table translation
Data acquisition

Cone-Beam Geometry
Z

Scanning modes
First generation
One detector, translation-rotation
Parallel-beam
Second generation
Multiple detectors, translation-rotation
Small fan-beam
Third generation
Multiple detectors, rotation-rotation
Large fan-beam

Scanning modes

Fourth generation
Detector ring, source-rotation
Large fan-beam
Spiral/Helical scanning, cone-beam geometry

Computed Tomography Principles


1. Projection measurement
2. Scanning modes
3. Scanner systems
4. Image reconstruction

Spiral CT Scanner
Gantry

Network
Source

Table
Detectors
Data acquisition
system

Computer

Display

Parallel
processor

Control
console

Recording

Storage units:
Tapes, disks

Data Acquisition System (DAS)


Pre-Collimator

Post-Collimator

Scattering

Source

Detector
Filter

Patient

Data Acquisition System (DAS)


X-ray Tube

Source
Filter

Detectors

CT Gantry

(From Siemens)

Detector

Spiral CT Scanner
Gantry
Data acquisition system

Table
Computer

Parallel processors

Control console
Storage units
Tapes, disks

(From Elscint)

Recording device
Network interface
X-ray generator
Heat exchanger

E-Beam CT Scanner
Speed: 50, 100 ms
Thickness: 1.5, 3, 6, 10 mm
ECG trigger cardiac images

(From Imatron)

Computed Tomography Principles


1. Projection measurement
2. Scanning modes
3. Scanner systems
4. Image reconstruction

Computed Tomography
y

Computed tomography (CT):


Image reconstruction from
projections
P(t)
f(x,y)
P(t)

f(x,y)
X-rays

Reconstruction Idea

1 2 7
3
3
4
1 3 6
2 4 4

Algebraic Reconstruction Technique


(ART)

Guess 0
Guess 2

Error

Error

Guess 1

Update a guess
based on
data differences

Fourier Transformation

Fourier
Transform
F (u , v) F f ( x, y )

f(x,y)

F(u,v)

Image
Space

Fourier
Space

f ( x, y )e j 2 (ux vy ) dxdy

f ( x, y ) F

F (u, v) F (u, v)e j 2 (ux vy ) dudv


Fourier Slice Theorem


P(t)

y
v

F[P(t)]
x

F(u,v)

f(x,y)
X-rays

From Projections to Image


y

-1

F [F(u,v)]

f(x,y)

P(t)

F(u,v)

Filtered Backprojection
P(t)

f(x,y)

P(t)

f(x,y)

1) Convolve projections with a filter


2) Backproject filtered projections

Example: Projection
Projection
Projection

Ideal Image

Sinogram

Example: Backprojection
Projection

Example: Backprojection
Sinogram

Backprojected Image

Example: Filtering
Sinogram

Filtered Sinogram

Example: Filtered Backprojection


Filtered Sinogram

Reconstructed Image

Reference
s
T. S. Curry III, J. E. Dowdey, R. C. Murry Jr.
Christensens physics of diagnostic Radiology (4th
edition), Lea & Febiger (for residents)
G. Wang, M. W. Vannier: Computerized tomography.
Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics
Engineering, edited by Webster JG, to be published
by John Wiley & Sons (for engineers)
http://dolphin.radiology.uiowa.edu/ge (on-line slides
& handouts in the Teaching section)