|Publication number||USRE41219 E1|
|Application number||US 11/450,952|
|Publication date||Apr 13, 2010|
|Filing date||Jun 12, 2006|
|Priority date||Mar 28, 2003|
|Also published as||CN1294879C, CN1541618A, DE602004013394D1, DE602004013394T2, EP1464286A1, EP1464286B1, US6987827, US20040190674|
|Publication number||11450952, 450952, US RE41219 E1, US RE41219E1, US-E1-RE41219, USRE41219 E1, USRE41219E1|
|Original Assignee||Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (32), Non-Patent Citations (2), Classifications (13), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority from prior Japanese Patent Application No. 2003-091970, filed Mar. 28, 2003, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to apparatus and method for the X-ray computed tomography.
2. Description of the Related Art
The X-ray computed tomographic apparatus (also referred to as the CT scanner) provides information of the subject in the form of images on the basis of the intensity of X-rays having passed through the subject, and plays an important role in many medical practices including diagnosis of illness, treatment and operation planning, etc. The advent of helical scan has made it possible to achieve wide-range data acquisition in a short time.
The patient throughput has become one of critical issues associated with such achievement. Due to ultrafast scans as well as weight saving of X-ray tubes, widespread use of helical scan, increasing number of detector arrays, and enhancement of detection sensitivity in recent years, the patient throughput is influenced more by a time needed for pre-scan setting of the subject than the scan time. The subject lies on his back on the tabletop of the diagnostic table and fine adjusts the body position according to radiologist's instructions. However, only a limited time is allowed for fine adjustment of the body position. Hence, as is shown in
An object of the invention is therefore to address an event such that scans are performed while the body axis of the subject is tilted with respect to the center line (Z-axis, the rotational axis of the X-ray tube) of the scan range.
An X-ray computed tomographic apparatus of the invention includes: a display portion to display, on a screen, a scanogram related to a subject together with a quadrilateral frame line specifying a reconstruction range; an input portion to input a command to transform the frame line specifying the reconstruction range to a parallelogram or rotate the frame line specifying the reconstruction range; a gantry to perform scanning in a scan range corresponding to the reconstruction range; and a reconstruction portion to reconstruct image data related to plural slices, parallel to one another and included in the reconstruction range, slice-by-slice on the basis of projection data acquired by the scanning.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and obtained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out hereinafter.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate presently preferred embodiments of the invention, and together with the general description given above and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments given below, server to explain the principles of the invention.
FIG. 3A and
FIG. 10A and
An embodiment of an X-ray computed tomographic apparatus of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. The X-ray computed tomographic apparatus includes various types, such as a rotate/rotate type in which a unit comprising the X-ray tube and the radiation detector rotates about the subject, and a stationary/rotate type in which a number of detection elements are aligned in a ring-shaped array and the X-ray tube alone rotates about the subject, and the invention is applicable to any type. Herein, the currently most popular rotate/rotate type will be described. Also, in order to reconstruct tomographic data for one slice, it is necessary to obtain projection data of about 360° for a full circle of the subject, and projection data of 180° plus a view angle is needed even in the half scan method. The invention is applicable to either reconstruction method. Herein, the former method will be described by way of example. Also, popular mechanisms to convert incident X-rays to charges are: an indirect conversion scheme,-by which X-rays are converted first into light by a fluorescent material, such as a scintillator, and the light is then converted to charges by a photoelectric converting element, such as a photodiode; and a direct conversion scheme, by which generation of electron-hole pairs in the semiconductor by X-rays and their movement to the electrodes, that is, the photoelectric phenomenon, are exploited. The X-ray detection elements adopting either scheme can be used, and herein, those adopting the former indirect conversion scheme will be described. In addition, a so-called multi-tube type X-ray computed tomographic apparatus, in which plural pairs of an X-ray tube and an X-ray detector are mounted to a rotational ring, has become commercially available recently, and the peripheral techniques are also under development. The invention is applicable to either a conventional single-tube type X-ray computed tomographic apparatus or a multi-tube type X-ray computed tomographic apparatus. Herein, a single-tube type X-ray computed tomographic apparatus will be described.
A tube voltage from a high voltage transformer assembly 21 is applied between the cathode and the anode of the X-ray tube 10, while a filament current from the high voltage transformer assembly 21 is supplied to the filament of the X-ray tube 10. X-rays are generated by the application of the tube voltage and the supply of the filament current.
As is shown in FIG. 3A and
A data acquisition device 24, generally referred to as a DAS (data acquisition system), converts a signal in each channel outputted from the detector 23 to a voltage signal, amplifies the voltage signal, and converts the amplified voltage signal to a digital signal. Data (raw data) thus obtained is supplied to a computer unit 3 installed at the outside of the gantry. A pre-processing unit 34 of the computer unit 3 performs compensation processing, such as sensitivity compensation, on the raw data outputted from the data acquisition device 24, and outputs projection data. The projection data is then sent to and stored in a data storage device 35 of the computer system 3.
The computer system 3 comprises a system controller 29, an input device 39 provided with a keyboard, a mouse, etc., a display 38, a scan controller 30, a reconstruction unit 36, and a scan procedure system 42 in addition to the aforementioned pre-processing unit 34 and the storage device 35. The reconstruction unit 36 is able to selectively perform the reconstruction processing according to either of the followings: the typical fan-beam reconstruction method (also referred to as the fan-beam convolution back projection method); and a reconstruction method in a case where projection rays cross with the reconstruction plane like a cone beam, other than the helical interpolation that can be used together with the fan-beam reconstruction method in finding projection data on the reconstruction plane through interpolation from projection data of, for example, two rotations, the method including the Feldkamp method, known as an approximate image reconstruction method, by which convolution is performed by deeming the beam as a fan projection beam on the assumption that the cone angle is small and back projection is performed along rays at the time of scanning, and the cone-beam reconstruction method, known as a method capable of suppressing cone-angle induced errors compared with the Feldkamp method, by which projection data is compensated in response to the angle of rays with respect to the reconstruction plane.
The scan procedure system 42 is provided to assist the operator in a work of determining the scan procedure, and constructs a scan procedure screen used to set scan conditions, such as a helical pitch (HP) indicating a distance the tabletop moves while the X-ray tube 10 rotates once as shown in
The scan conditions include the activation (distinction between the manual trigger and the automatic trigger to start the scan), scan start time (start time), start position of helical scan, a pause between scans, end position of helical scan, scan mode (distinction among single-slice/multi-slice/helical), start position of scan, end position of scan, tube voltage kV, tube current mA, scan speed (time in parentheses indicates a time needed for the entire scans), the number of slices (the number of arrays used), helical pitch, reconstruction mode, and FOV (width of reconstruction range).
A quadrilateral frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range is displayed on the scanogram image 99. A frame line, generally in a dotted line, specifying the scan range corresponding to the reconstruction range is displayed together with the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range in some cases. The quadrilateral frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range is initially provided as an oblong with its center line 109 being parallel to the Z-axis (central axis of rotation).
Also, rhombic icons 102 for scaling up/down the range vertically and rhombic icons 103 for scaling up/down the range horizontally are displayed at the four corners of the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range, so that the operator is able to scale up/down the reconstruction range as needed by moving the pointer 104 to any of the icons 102 and 103 and dragging the pointer 104 with the use of, for example, the mouse of the input device 39. Also, the operator is able to move the reconstruction range in parallel vertically and/or horizontally by moving the pointer 104 on the frame line 101 and dragging the pointer 104 with the use of, for example, the mouse of the input device 39.
Further, on the scanogram image 99 are superposed transformation icons 105 and 106 and rotation icons 107 and 108. A transformation command is inputted with a click on the transformation icon 105. Upon input of the transformation command, as is shown in
A rotation command is inputted with a click on the rotation icon 107. Upon input of the rotation command, as is shown in
As has been described, the scanogram image 99 is displayed in an orientation such that the Z-axis (center of rotation) thereof is parallel to the vertical direction of the screen. Thus, when scanogram imaging is performed while the subject is tilted with respect to the Z-axis, the tilt is reflected on the scanogram image 99 on the screen as are shown in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7.
The operator thus drags and moves the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range in parallel and clicks either the transformation icon 105 in the forward direction or the transformation icon 106 in the backward direction as many times as necessary, so that the center line 109 of the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range becomes parallel to and agrees as much as possible with the body axis of the subject on the tilted scanogram image 99. Also, the operator drags and moves the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range in parallel and clicks either the rotation icon 107 in the forward direction or the rotation icon 108 in the backward direction as many times as necessary, so that the center line 109 of the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range becomes parallel to and agrees as much as possible with the body axis of the subject assumed on the tilted scanogram image 99. Alternatively, it may be possible to transform and rotate the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range with the use of the transformation icon 105 or 106 together with the rotation icon 107 or 108.
There is a slight difference between the examples of FIG. 6 and
As is shown in
Because the center of the slice can be set for each slice in response to the tilted body position of the subject in the manner descried above, even when scans are performed while the body axis of the subject is tilted with respect to the Z-axis, the body axis of the subject can be positioned on almost the center of the image as shown in FIG. 8C. This eliminates offset between the position on the image and the position on the subject, which makes observation quite easy. Also, by converting a horizontal distance of the subject to an actual distance on the basis of the tilt of the frame line 101, it is possible to reduce errors in measurement of a distance or a volume.
Then, in a case where the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range is rotated as shown in
The scan range 112 can be selected from the range shown in FIG. 10A and the range shown in
As is shown in
The width of each slice is set according to the width of the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range, and the center of each slice is set on the center line 109 of the frame line 101 specifying the reconstruction range. Because the center line 109 of the reconstruction range is set with a tilt with respect to the center line of the scan range, the horizontal positions of the respective slices, that is, a distance from the center line of the scan range to the center of each slice, vary from slice to slice.
Because the center of the slice can be set for each slice in response to the tilted body position of the subject in the manner described above, even when scans are performed while the body axis of the subject is tilted with respect to the Z-axis, the body axis of the subject can be positioned on almost the center of the image as is shown in FIG. 9C. Moreover, in this example, an image of a plane orthogonal to the body axis of the subject can be obtained, which reduces errors in horizontal distance associated with a tilt of the body axis with respect to the Z-axis. In short, it is possible to substantially eliminate a state where the body axis of the subject is tilted with respect to the Z-axis. Because errors in distance can be eliminated not only vertically but also horizontally, errors can be reduced in measurement of a distance or a volume; moreover, MPR (multi-planar reconstruction) processing or 3-D processing can be performed directly without the need for special compensation processing.
The invention can be applied to, for example, PET (Positron Emission computed Tomography), as an image diagnosis apparatus of a type that reconstructs a planar image on the basis of the subject's data acquired in many directions, as with the X-ray computed tomographic apparatus.
Additional advantages and modifications will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Therefore, the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details and representative embodiments shown and described herein. Accordingly, various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the general inventive concept as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.
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|U.S. Classification||378/4, 378/20, 378/17|
|Cooperative Classification||A61B6/027, Y10S378/901, A61B6/469, G06T11/005, A61B6/032, G06T11/003|
|European Classification||A61B6/46D4, A61B6/03B, G06T11/00T1|
|Aug 30, 2013||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jan 17, 2014||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|