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This paper describes and demonstrates an electronic collimation method, referred to as the alternate line erasure and readout (ALER) technique, for implementing slot-scan digital radiography technique with an amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin-film transistor (TFT) array based flat-panel detector. An amorphus selenium (a-Se) flat-panel detector was modified to implement the ALER technique for slot-scan imaging. A stepping-motor driven fore-collimator was mounted in front of an X-ray tube to generate a scanning X-ray fan beam. The scanning speed and magnification were adjusted to synchronize the fan beam motion with the image line readout rate. The image lines on the leading and trailing edges of the fan beam were tracked and alternately reset and read out, respectively. The former operation resulted in the erasure of the scatter signals accumulated in the leading edge image line prior to the arrival of the fan beam. The latter operation resulted in the acquisition of fan beam exposure data integrated in the trailing edge image line right after the fan beam passed. To demonstrate the scatter rejection capability of this technique, an anthropomorphic chest phantom was placed in PA position and scanned at a speed of 576 lines (8.0 cm)/s at 117 kVp and 32 mA. A tungsten bar is placed at the entrance side of the chest phantom to measure the scatter-to-primary ratio (SPR), scatter reduction factor (SRF), and contrast-to-noise ratio degradation factor (CNRDF) in the slot-scan images to evaluate the effectiveness of scatter rejection and the resultant improvement of image quality. SPR and CNRDF in the open-field images were also measured and used as the reference for comparison. A scatter reduction by 86.4 to 95.4% across lower lung and heart regions has been observed with slot-scan imaging. The CNRs have been found to be improved by a factor of 2 in the mediastinum areas over the open-field image as well.
Date of Publication: April 2006