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Modern systems acquire the projection data required for one tomographic image in approximately 1 sec and present the reconstructed image on a 1024 × 1024 matrix display within a few seconds. 11 The computer system controls the gantry motions, acquires the x-ray transmission measurements, and reconstructs the final image. The system shown here uses 1,268,000-family CPUs. 1 Summary of the CT Dose Index (CTDI) Values at Two Positions (Center of the Patient and Near the Skin) as Specified by Four CT Manufacturers for Standard Head and Body Scans CTDI, Center CTDI, Skin Manufacturer Detector kVp mA Scan Time (sec) (mGy) (mGy) A, head A, body A, head A, body B, head B, body C, head C, body D, head D, body Xenon Xenon Solid state Solid state Solid state Solid state Solid state Solid state Solid state Solid state 120 120 120 120 130 130 120 120 120 120 170 170 170 170 80 80 500 290 200 200 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 50 14 40 11 37 15 39 12 78 9 48 25 40 20 41 34 50 28 78 16 The images are high-quality tomographic “maps” of the x-ray linear attenuation coefficient of the patient tissues.

However, thirdgeneration slip-ring systems must use more sophisticated techniques. At least one manufacturer uses optical transmitters on the rotating gantry to send data to fixed optical receivers (Siemens, 1989). 4 Computer System Various computer systems are used by manufacturers to control system hardware, acquire the projection data, and reconstruct, display, and manipulate the tomographic images. 11, which uses 12 independent processors connected by a 40-Mbyte/sec multibus. Multiple custom array processors are used to achieve a combined computational speed of 200 MFLOPS (million floating-point operations per second) and a reconstruction time of approximately 5 sec to produce an image on a 1024 × 1024 pixel display.

Cormack, Dr. Allan MacLeod: A physicist who developed mathematical techniques required in the reconstruction of tomographic images. Dr. Cormack shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology with Dr. N. Hounsfield in 1979 (Cormack, 1980). Data-acquisition system (DAS): Interfaces the x-ray detectors to the system computer and may consist of a preamplifier, integrator, multiplexer, logarithmic amplifier, and analog-to-digital converter. Detector array: An array of individual detector elements.

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