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Spiral CT Bushong Chapter 5. Continuous source rotation with the patient translation through x-ray beam Patient couch moves as x-ray tube rotates Spiral.

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Presentation on theme: "Spiral CT Bushong Chapter 5. Continuous source rotation with the patient translation through x-ray beam Patient couch moves as x-ray tube rotates Spiral."— Presentation transcript:

1 Spiral CT Bushong Chapter 5

2 Continuous source rotation with the patient translation through x-ray beam Patient couch moves as x-ray tube rotates Spiral CT

3 High voltage supplied by slip rings or on board generator Slip ring replaces cables No interscan delay –Interscan delay is a small delay between slices or volumes that is needed during standard axial scanning for the x-ray tube to stop and reverse direction. Interscan delay can also be used to allow extra time during a scan for tube cooling Volumetric imaging within one breath-hold, at least 25s

4 Spiral CT Hyperventilation may help patients extend breath-hold –Tell the patient to breath in and out several times before final breath hold Contrast enhanced examination requires less contrast media –Contrast amounts between ml are still common –Some multislice/multidetector scanners are so fast that technologists need to be careful about not scanning faster than the contrast bolus moves through the vascular system Detector data transferred to computer by slip rings

5 Spiral CT Examination time is greatly reduced Patient comfort is much improved Because the patient is moved through the gantry while the x-ray tube rotates, a spiral pattern results

6 Spiral CT Z-axis resolution is slightly reduced with spiral CT Effective slice thickness increases with pitch

7 Pitch is the patient couch movement per rotation divided by slice thickness Contiguous spiral –Pitch = 1, that is 10mm/10mm Extended spiral –Pitch = 2, that is 20mm/10mm Overlapping spiral –½, that is 5mm/10mm Page 78 Bushong shows diagram Pitch

8 Low pitch results in better z-axis resolution Narrow collimation/high pitch results in better z-axis resolution than wide collimation/low pitch Narrow collimation/high pitch is recommended for high contrast, thin slice examination, for example, lung nodules

9 Pitch Data is collected continuously but not from a transverse plane –Instead a helical volume is created As spiral CT pitch increases, patient dose is reduced Patient dose is approximately proportional to 1/pitch Patient dose is proportional to slice thickness divided by couch movement

10 Pitch Pitch in excess of 2 is not recommended for any clinical examination –Too much anatomy would be skipped Couch incrementation is usually set to equal collimation, pitch = 1 Couch speed (mm/s) should not exceed slice thickness (mm) in order to obtain best compromise between image quality and image volume

11 Pitch Couch speed will not normally exceed 10mm/s When pitch exceeds 1, 180 interpolation must be used to limit loss of z-axis resolution Longitudinal (z-axis) image coverage is the product of couch velocity (mm/s) and image time (s) –If couch moves 10mm/s and the imaging time is 5s then 50mm (5cm) of axial coverage will result The larger the pitch, the more anatomy is covered per examination

12 Interpolation Reconstruction of spiral CT images is the same as that for conventional CT except for interpolation A transverse planar image can be reconstructed at any position along the axis of the patient (z-axis) The transverse image is reconstructed from spiral data first by interpolation, then by filtered back projection

13 Interpolation Either 360 degrees or 180 degrees interpolation may be employed Usually 180 degree interpolation is preferred Contiguous reconstruction can result in partial volume effect when object is contained in adjacent slices

14 Interpolation Overlapping reconstruction may be necessary to ensure that object is fully contained within a slice Data acquisition is continuous along the z-axis; therefore by interpolation, image reconstruction is at any z-axis position Regardless of z-axis position, slice thickness is determined by collimation

15 Interpolation Volume averaging increases with increasing pitch By increasing the pitch the helix becomes more spread out and small structures can be missed This is similar to stretching a slinky toy

16 Interpolation Image noise is higher with spiral CT versus conventional CT regardless of pitch Interpolation is the computation of an unknown value using known values on either side Z-axis resolution is improved with 180 degree interpolation compared to 360 degree interpolation

17 Interpolation Extrapolation is the computation of an unknown value using known values on one side 180 degree interpolation results in a thinner slice than 360 degree interpolation 180 degree interpolation results in a noisier image than 360 degree interpolation

18 Interpolation 180 degree interpolation results in approximately 20% higher noise than conventional CT 360 degree interpolation results in approximately 20% less noise than conventional CT 180 degree interpolation results in better z-axis resolution on reformatted longitudinal images than 360 interpolation

19 Interpolation 180 degree interpolation allows scanning at a higher pitch than 360 degree 360 interpolation broadens sensitivity profile more than 180 degree interpolation In general, image noise is less for 360 degree interpolation, spiral CT than for conventional CT In general, image noise is much higher for 180 degree interpolation, spiral CT than for conventional CT

20 Interpolation Whether 180 degree or 360 degree interpolation, there are linear and higher order reconstruction algorithms Two characteristic spiral CT artifacts have been identified as breakup and stair step Both the breakup artifact and the stair step artifact occur as a consequence of reformatting interpolation transverse images to the longitudinal plane – coronal or sagittal

21 Sensitivity Profile Generally when covering a given length of anatomy, thinner collimation and higher pitch are preferred because the result is better spatial resolution Pitch greater than 2:1 is not clinically useful because of a broadened sensitivity profile and reduced z-axis resolution Generally, higher pitch results in thinner slice thickness and less partial volume artifact

22 Sensitivity Profile During spiral CT with pitch >1, the sensitivity profile (z-axis resolution) is wider than that of conventional CT Spiral CT sensitivity is described by the full width at tenth maximum (FWTM) rather than the conventional full width at half maximum (FWHM) The higher the pitch, the wider will be the sensitivity profile

23 Design Features – Slip Ring Technology Slip ring technology made spiral CT possible Normal spiral CT gantry rotation is 1 revolution per second Although.5s revolution is possible, the engineering required by the stress of centrifugal force is formidable

24 Slip Ring Technology There may be multiple slip rings, both high voltage and low voltage The design of spiral CT imagers is based on both third and fourth generation with no clear advantage to either The slip ring contacts or brushes wear and are designed to be replaced during preventive maintenance

25 X-Ray Tube Spiral CT requires less than 1s 360 degree rotation time and at least 5 MHU x-ray tubes For very long scan times, mA must be reduced so that x-ray tube loading will not be exceeded Regardless of heat capacity (MHU) and anode cooling (kHU/min), spiral CT is usually limited by the heat capacity of the focal track High anode heat capacity (6-8 MHU) and rapid cooling (1 MHU/min) are required

26 X-Ray Tube In spite of the high heat load, tube life is comparable to conventional CT at about 50,000 exposures

27 Technique Selection Reconstruction Index is the interval at which images are reconstructed Index is reconstruction distance divided by collimation An index of less than one indicates image overlap An index of greater than one indicates a gap

28 Reconstruction An index of less than one should be employed to visualize suspected lung nodules Spiral CT significantly improves coronal and sagittal slice reconstruction High quality two-dimensional and three- dimensional image reformation are made from overlapping transverse images

29 Reconstruction Spiral CT operation requires the following unique technique selections –Scan time –Beam collimation –Couch feed velocity –Z-axis spacing for image reconstruction Spiral images cannot be reconstructed as rapidly as they are acquired. Hence computer memory must be excessive

30 Reconstruction Scan time cannot exceed the patient’s breath-hold capacity, usually about 25s Collimation and couch velocity can be selected as pitch

31 Z-Axis Resolution Z-axis resolution is compromised in spiral CT but not significantly The ability to reconstruct images at any z-axis location improves small lesion detection by reducing partial volume effects

32 Advantages and Limitations Image noise is usually less with spiral CT More data is acquired in spiral CT; therefore, image reconstruction takes a little longer Spiral CT replaces single scan techniques with volume acquisition techniques Spiral CT misses no anatomy in the scanned volume

33 Advantages and Limitations Spiral CT images can be reconstructed at any z-axis position Multiple overlapping transverse images are possible in a single breath-hold with no additional patient dose Overall scan time is less with spiral CT resulting in improved patient throughput Spiral CT takes a bit longer for image processing because of the required interpolation before planar image reconstruction

34 Advantages Faster image acquisition Contrast can be followed quicker Reduced patient dose at pitch > 1 Physiologic imaging Improved 3d imaging Angiographic imaging Fewer partial volume artifacts Freeze breathing Fewer motion artifacts No misregistration Increased throughput Improved patient comfort Unlimited z-axis resolution Real time CT biopsy


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