X-Ray Image Processing

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Flat Panel (FTP) Detector

Flat panel detectors are used to detect X-rays and produce images.

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How it works

  • Flat panel (FTP) detectors contain a layer of scintillator material which converts the X-rays into light.
  • Behind the scintillator layer is a detector array similar to a TV LCD display.
  • Millions of pixels in the display each contain a photodiode which generates an electrical signal.
  • The signals from the photodiodes are amplified and read by electronic scanning to produce an accurate representation of the x-ray image.
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Benefits of FTP detectors

  • The FTP detector is more sensitive and faster than film.
    • This allows for a lower dose of radiation.
  • The image can also easily be viewed on a tablet computer.

X-Ray Image Enhancement and Detection

X-ray images can be enhanced by a contrast material. Photographic detectors are also used.

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Contrast enhancement

  • Where there is little difference in contrast between structures being imaged, a contrast material can be supplied.
  • For example, a 'barium meal' to give contrast to parts of the intestines.
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Photographic detection

  • An x-ray image intensifier converts X-rays into visible light.
  • Such intensifiers are used to allow low-intensity X-rays to be converted to a bright visible light.
  • The device contains an input fluorescent screen, photocathode, electron optics, output fluorescent screen and output window.
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Photographic detection cont.

  • These parts are all mounted in a high vacuum.
  • This allows the viewer to more easily see the structure of the object being imaged than fluorescent screens alone.
  • It requires lower doses due to the more efficient conversion of x-ray quanta to visible light.

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1Measurements & Errors

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6Further Mechanics & Thermal Physics (A2 only)

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