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NESTED SHIELDING FOR BLOCKING SCATTERED X-RAYS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199836D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-17
Document File: 5 page(s) / 429K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

An X-ray shielding technique comprising two shields is disclosed. The two shields include one shield of X-ray attenuating material attached around the X-ray tube aperture on the tube housing and one shield attached to the X-ray tube mounting structure. The two shields overlap in the Y direction. Furthermore, the nested features of the shielding technique enable tube alignment in the XZ plane for high system image quality .Such a design maintains radiation shielding against scattered radiation in all directions.

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NESTED SHIELDING FOR BLOCKING SCATTERED X-RAYS

FIELD OF INVENTION

The invention generally relates to medical imaging systems and more particularly to a shielding technique for X-ray generating systems.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

An X-ray tube is an evacuated electron tube that produces X-rays by accelerating electrons to a high velocity with a high-voltage field. The accelerated electrons collide with a target which is typically an anode plate. The X-ray tube is generally mounted on a structure capable of supporting the mass of the X-ray tube. In some conventional systems, the X-ray tube is attached directly to the structure of the collimator. In such conventional configurations, no gap exists between the X-ray tube and collimator. The X- rays exiting from the X-ray tube are further modified using the collimator to filter and direct the X-ray beam by using at least one type of X-ray attenuating material. Mounting the X-ray tube directly to the collimator is more feasible in systems with the gantry structure running at slower speeds. In more advanced imaging systems having higher gantry speeds, it is not as feasible to mount the tube directly to the collimator. In general, the gantry structure tends to be mechanically stiffer and stronger than the collimator structure. Therefore for more advanced imaging systems the X-ray tube and collimator are each, more easily supported using the gantry structure as a means of mounting.

Attaching the X-ray tube and collimator directly and separately to a gantry structure creates a potential gap between the X-ray tube and collimator, presenting an opportunity for scattered X-rays to escape. The gap between the X-ray tube and the mounting structure needs to be shielded to prevent radiation leakage. Further, proper control of the scattered X-rays is a regulatory and operator safety issue since such scattered X-rays are not useful for patient imaging.

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Further, due to tolerance stack-up between the X-ray tube and mounting structure, the X- ray tube may be required to move relative to the mounting structure in at least one axis to center the X-ray beam correctly.

Hence there exists a need for an effective technique to contain scattered X-rays which escape from the gap between the X-ray tube and collimator.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides an X-ray shielding technique. The X-ray shielding technique comprises two shields. One shield is an X-ray attenuating material attached around the X- ray tube aperture on the tube housing. A second shield is an X-ray attenuating material attached to the X-ray tube mounting structure, in the area of the X-ray tube-gantry interface. According to one embodiment the second shield is attached to the gantry structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An X-ray shielding technique is proposed. The X-ray shielding technique comprises two shields made of X-ray attenuating material. One shield is attached around the X-ray tube aperture...