Golosio, Bruno and Oliva, Piernicola and Brunetti, Antonio and Masala, Giovanni Luca Christian and Carpinelli, Massimo and Meloni, Francesco and Meloni, Giovanni Battista (2013) Preliminary study of an angiographic and angio-tomographic technique based on K-edge filters. Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 114 (6), 064912-064912. ISSN 0021-8979. Article.
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Digital Subtraction Angiography is commonly affected by artifacts due to the patient movements during the acquisition of the images without and with the contrast medium. This paper presents a preliminary study on an angiographic and angio-tomographic technique based on the quasi-simultaneous acquisition of two images, obtained using two different filters at the exit of an X-ray tube. One of the two filters (K-edge filter) contains the same chemical element used as a contrast agent (gadolinium in this study). This filter absorbs more radiation with energy just above the so called K-edge energy of gadolinium than the radiation with energy just below it. The other filter (an aluminium filter in this study) is simply used to suppress the low-energy contribution to the spectrum. Using proper calibration curves, the two images are combined to obtain an image of the contrast agent distribution. In the angio-tomographic application of the proposed technique two images, corresponding to the two filter types, are acquired for each viewing angle of the tomographic scan. From the two tomographic reconstructions, it is possible to obtain a three-dimensional map of the contrast agent distribution. The technique was tested on a sample consisting of a rat skull placed inside a container filled with water. Six small cylinders with 4.7 mm internal diameter containing the contrast medium at different concentrations were placed inside the skull. In the plain angiographic application of the technique, five out of six cylinders were visible, with gadolinium concentration down to 0.96%. In the angio-tomographic application, all six cylinders were visible, with gadolinium concentration down to 0.49%. This preliminary study shows that the proposed technique can provide images of the contrast medium at low concentration without most of the artifacts that are present in images produced by conventional techniques. The results encourage further investigation on the feasibility of a clinical implementation of the technique.
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