Contrast-enhanced radiography by differential absorption, using a laser-produced X-ray source

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RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. The authors evaluate the feasibility of differential imaging of contrast media, with division of individual pixel values obtained from digital images generated by characteristic radiation from a laser-produced plasma, bridging the K-absorption edge of the contrast agent. METHODS. Laser pulses from an ultrashort-pulse terawatt laser system were focused onto gadolinium and tantalum targets, creating a plasma from which characteristic radiation and Bremsstrahlung was emitted. The elements of the target were selected so the characteristic emission lines of one of the elements were below the K edge of the contrast agent and the emission lines of the other element above. A phantom with gadolinium and other elements in various concentrations was examined. One radiographic exposure was made using a gadolinium target source and a subsequent exposure using a tantalum source. Both images were recorded digitally and the transmission ratios calculated by division of the individual pixel values. RESULTS. When viewed separately, the two images of the test phantom appeared similar. In the differential image, only the gadolinium solutions were bright, reflecting a difference in attenuation between the two exposures. CONCLUSIONS. Element-specific radiographs can be obtained by differential imaging. When fully explored, the technique may allow for contrast-enhanced radiography with increased sensitivity and decreased contrast dose.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-310
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch