Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has made a major contribution to the understanding of higher brain function, but fMRI with auditory stimulation, used in the planning of brain tumor surgery, is often inaccurate because there is a risk that the sounds used in the trial may not be correctly transmitted to the subjects due to acoustic noise. This prompted us to devise a method of digitizing sound transmission ability from the accuracy rate of 67 syllables, classified into three types. We evaluated this with and without acoustic noise during imaging. We also improved the structure of the headphones and compared their sound transmission ability with that of conventional headphones attached to an MRI device (a GE Signa HDxt 3.0 T). We calculated and compared the sound transmission ability of the conventional headphones with that of the improved model. The 95 percent upper confidence limit (UCL) was used as the threshold for accuracy rate of hearing for both headphone models. There was a statistically significant difference between the conventional model and the improved model during imaging (p < 0.01). The rate of accuracy of the improved model was 16 percent higher. 29 and 22 syllables were accurate at a 95% UCL in the improved model and the conventional model, respectively. This study revealed the evaluation system used in this study to be useful for correctly identifying syllables during fMRI.
If patient information, such as identification number or patient name, has been entered incorrectly in a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) environment, the image may be stored in the wrong place. To prevent such cases of misfiling, we have developed an automated patient recognition system for chest CT images. The image database consisted of 100 cases with present and previous chest CT images. A volume of interest (VOI) measuring 40 × 40 pixels was selected from the left lung region, bronchus region, and right lung region. Next, the overall lung region and these three regions in a current chest CT image were used as a template for determining the residual value with the corresponding four regions in previous chest CT images. To ensure separation between the same and different patients, we applied a combined analysis that employed the ruled-based plus artificial neural network (ANN) method. The overall performance of the method developed was examined in terms of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. The performance of the rule-based plus ANN method using a combination of the four regions was higher than obtained using a rule-based method using these four regions separately. The automated patient recognition system using the rule-based plus ANN method achieved an area under the curve (AUC) value of 0.987. This automated patient recognition method for chest CT images is promising for helping to retrieve misfiled patient images, especially in a PACS environment.
The optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dosimeter is a useful detector for measuring absorbed doses of X-rays. A small-type OSL dosimeter, “nanoDot”, has recently been developed by Landauer, Inc., who also manufacture “microStar” reading equipment. However, additional annealing equipment is needed if the nanoDot OSL dosimeter is used repeatedly. The aim of this study was to fabricate suitable annealing equipment using commonly available products. Our device positions four fluorescent light tubes in a close configuration. The heat from the fluorescent light tubes is dissipated using fans. Experiments using diagnostic X-ray equipment were carried out to evaluate the capability of our annealing equipment. The results indicated that our equipment can fully anneal the nanoDot OSL dosimeter with annealing times of approximately 20 hours.
Following recent rapid advances in devices and treatment technology, indications for percutaneous peripheral intervention (PPI) have been expanded to include complex lesions (long-segment lesions, completely obstructed chronic lesions, etc.) and even lesions of the superficial femoral artery and arteries distal to the popliteal artery. However, when PPI is used for treatment of complete obstruction, treatment can take a long time or its outcome can be less satisfactory for reasons such as difficulty in assessing the vascular distribution/arrangement or the direction of calcification in the obstructed area or excessively long lesions. In the present study, we conducted three-dimensional image processing of CT data from leg arteries conventionally used for preoperative diagnosis. Using this processing technique, we created virtual images of the blood vessels of the completely obstructed area and mapped these virtual vessel images onto the fluoroscopic monitor image during catheter treatment. The usefulness of this technique for PPI was then evaluated. We succeeded in creating virtual vessel images of the completely obstructed parts of leg arteries with the use of preoperative CT images of leg arteries that we then mapped onto the fluoroscopic monitor images during treatment. We were successful in mapping virtual images onto the abdominal aorta in 96.8% of cases and in 95.7% with the common iliac artery. This technique is thus able to supply reliable information on vascular distribution/arrangement, suggesting that it can enable the surgeon to advance the treatment device precisely along the vessels, making it useful for treatment with PPI. The study additionally showed that differences in the angle of imaging affect the manual mapping of the CT images onto angiograms.
We had the opportunity to employ an anti-scatter grid, which uses fiber as the interspace material. The X-ray transmission rate of fiber is higher than aluminum, so we predicted that the use of a fiber grid would reduce radiation exposure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of the fiber grid. The physical characteristics and influence of focus-grid decentering were compared between the fiber grid and three kinds of antiscatter grids that use aluminum as the interspace material (Al grid). The contrast improvement factor and selectivity of the fiber grid was higher than the Al grid, and the Bucky factor of the fiber grid was lower. The interspace material and grid ratio also influenced focus-grid decentering. The results of this study suggest the potential for reduction of radiation exposure by the use of a fiber grid.
A semi-solid polymer dosimetry system using agar was developed to measure the dose distribution close to metallic implants. Dosimetry of heterogeneous fields where electron density markedly varies is often problematic. This prompted us to develop a polymer gel dosimetry technique using agar to measure the dose distribution near substance boundaries. Varying the concentration of an oxygen scavenger (tetra-hydroxymethyl phosphonium chloride) showed the absorbed dose and transverse relaxation rate of the magnetic resonance signal to be linear between 3 and 12 Gy. Although a change in the dosimeter due to oxidization was observed in room air after 24 hours, no such effects were observed in the first 4 hours. The dose distribution around the metal implants was measured using agar dosimetry. The metals tested were a lead rod, a titanium hip joint, and a metallic stent. A maximum 30% dose increase was observed near the lead rod, but only a 3% increase in the absorbed dose was noted near the surface of the titanium hip joint and metallic stent. Semi-solid polymer dosimetry using agar thus appears to be a useful method for dosimetry around metallic substances.
Purpose: For emergency or pediatric head CT scans, a simplified pillow made of hard sponge instead of a dedicated head holder may be used if it is difficult to immobilize the head. However, the radiation dose when using a simplified head holder may be increased due to radiation absorption by the patient couch if the automatic exposure control (AEC) system is used. In this phantom study, we compared the radiation dose delivered when using a dedicated and a simplified head holder. Materials and Methods: We used a dedicated-type and a pillow-type head holder made of hard sponge (simplified head holder). We placed a 20 cm-diameter cylindrical phantom made of water-equivalent material and an anthropomorphic head phantom in the head holders and then scanned them five times with a 64-detector CT scanner (VCT, GE Healthcare). We performed step-and-shoot and helical scanning with AEC; the noise index was set to 2.8. We measured the radiation dose using fluorescent glass dosimeters in the head phantom and the image noise at five sites in the cylindrical phantom. All values were averaged. Results: With step-and-shoot scans, the mean image noise with the dedicated and the simplified head holder was 3.30 ± 0.05 [SD] and 3.20 ± 0.05, respectively. With helical scans they were 3.00 ± 0.09 and 2.88 ± 0.03, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference (p = 0.02 and 0.04, Student’s t-test). The radiation doses with the dedicated and the simplified head holder were 58.6 and 70.4 mGy, respectively, for step-and-shoot scanning and 41.8 and 49.0 mGy, respectively, for helical scanning. The doses were thus significantly higher with the simplified head holder for both step-and-shoot and helical scanning (p < 0.01 and < 0.01). Conclusion: We recommend the use of a dedicated head holder for head scanning with AEC since the radiation dose was lower than with the simplified head holder.