TU-A-9A-07: X-Ray Acoustic Computed Tomography (XACT): 100% Sensitivity to X-Ray Absorption




To assess whether X-ray acoustic computed tomography (XACT) is more sensitive to X-ray absorption than that of the conventional X-ray imaging.


First, a theoretical model was built to analyze the X-ray absorption sensitivity of XACT imaging and conventional X-ray imaging. Second, an XACT imaging system was developed to evaluate the X-ray induced acoustic signal generation as well as the sensitivity improvement over transmission x-ray imaging. Ultra-short x-ray pulses (60-nanosecond) were generated from an X-ray source operated at the energy of 150 kVp with a 10-Hz repetition rate. The X-ray pulse was synchronized with the acoustic detection via a x-ray scintillation triggering to acquire the X-ray induced acoustic signal.


Theoretical analysis shows that X-ray induced acoustic signal is sensitive only to the X-ray absorption, while completely insensitive to out the X-ray scattering and fluorescence. XACT has reduced background and increased contrast-to-noise ratio, and therefore has increased sensitivity compared to transmission x-ray imaging. For a 50-μm size, gadolinium insertion in tissue exposed to 40 keV X-rays; the sensitivity of XACT imaging is about 28.9 times higher than that of conventional X-ray imaging.


X-ray acoustic computer tomography (XACT) as a new imaging modality combines X-ray absorption contrast and high ultrasonic resolution in a single modality. It is feasible to improve the imaging sensitivity with XACT imaging compared with conventional X-ray imaging. Taking advantage of the high ultrasonic resolution, it is possible to perform 3-D imaging with a single x-ray pulse with arrays of transducers without any mechanical motion of the imaging system. This single-shot capability offers the potential of reducing radiation dose by a factor of 1000, and imaging 100 times faster when compared to the conventional X-ray CT, and thus revolutionizing x-ray imaging applications in medicine and biology.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Programs W81XWH-13-1-0481 (LX), the National Institutes of Health 1R01 CA133474 and 1R21 A153587, and SRFDP (20124407120012) for funding.