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GRAPHICAL TUBE HEAT UNIT INDICATOR

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201008D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-04
Document File: 9 page(s) / 138K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A graphic tube heat unit (HU) indicator for an X-ray tube is disclosed. In fixed exposure mode, there are three segments usually displayed, namely Spare HU except the Next Shoot, Next Exposure HU and Accumulated HU. These three segments provide an accurate comparison for tube usage related to HU. A user can easily know how much HU current parameters generate and the associated weight in the available HU. In AEC exposure mode, there are four segments indicated, namely Spare HU except Next Backup, Next Backup HU except Next Exposure, Next Exposure HU and Accumulated HU. The four segment HU indicator gives an accurate comparison for the tube usage related to HU. A user can easily know how the weight is associated with backup HU and the next exposure HU in the available HU. Additionally, the invention introduces two important factors Fa and Fb. The use of these factors enables a solution for various circumstances arising during the working of the HU tube. The graphical tube HU indicator may be displayed on a PC screen, an LCD or as a row of LED.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 26% of the total text.

Page 01 of 9

GRAPHICAL TUBE HEAT UNIT INDICATOR

FIELD OF INVENTION

The invention generally relates to X-ray tube systems and more particularly to an X-ray graphical tube heat unit (HU).

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Generally, X-rays are generated by an X-ray tube. The X-ray tube is a vacuum tube that uses high voltage to accelerate electrons released by a hot cathode to a high velocity. The high velocity electrons collide with a metal target (known as anode) to create X-rays.

During the operation of the X-ray tube, the tube gets heated up due to the high voltage potential existing in the X-ray tube. It is observed that an intuitionistic and graphical indication about how hot the tubes become is not available to an X-Ray physician. Some of the conventional techniques provide a digital display of the number of heat units (HU) remaining, while some other conventional techniques display the required cooling interval following each exposure to optimize the lifetime of the tube. However, the X-ray physician cannot estimate, using such techniques, the number of additional exposures that can be done using the same X-ray tube.

Hence there exists a need for an improved method of providing HU information to an X- ray tube operator.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a graphical tube heat unit (HU) indicator utilized in an X-ray tube. The parts of the HU indicator are a Spare HU, Spare HU except Next Shoot and Accumulated HU. The graphical tube indicator provides an accurate and user friendly display of the HU information.


Page 02 of 9

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A graphical Tube heat unit (HU) Indicator for an X-ray tube is proposed. The graphical tube HU indicator represents characteristic HU of the X-ray tube. In one embodiment of the invention, the X-ray tube HU indicator comprises three segments in fixed exposure mode. As illustrated in figure 1, the tube HU indicator in fixed exposure mode comprises three parts namely a Spare HU except Next Shoot, Next Exposure HU and Accumulated HU. Additionally, the value of Available HU can be calculated. The Available HU is equal to the difference between the tube's Characteristic HU and Accumulated HU as represented herein. The X-ray tube's characteristic HU = Available HU + Accumulated HU.

Spare HU except Next

Exposure

ext Exposure HU

Accumulated HU

FIG. 1

A bar indicated by Spare HU except Next Shoot in Figure 1 represents the available HU for future exposure excluding the next exposure generated HU. The value of the Next Exposure HU is determined by currently set exposure parameters such as KV/mAs/mA/mS that are used to complete next exposure. The value of the next exposure HU is proportional to the product of exposure voltage, exposure current and exposure duration. The value of the next exposure HU is typically represented by

Available

HU

N

The tube's

characteristic

HU


Page 03 of 9

1.35*kVp*mA*s. The actual calculation formula for the next exposure HU depends on the system...