X-ray Attenuator System for ROI Imaging

A mechanical shutter-like attenuator with advanced image processing to equalize image brightness for region of interest real-time processing while reducing exposure to radiation.

One of the primary concerns with radiographic and fluoroscopic imaging is minimizing potentially harmful effects of ionizing radiation while still maintaining image quality. Since not all regions within a field of view to be imaged are of equal value to the operator, a device and method to limit radiation to the region of interest (“ROI”) while minimizing radiation exposed to peripheral regions would offer a solution to optimizing the use of ionizing radiation. Existing methodologies for producing ROI imaging require image processing to adjust brightness and contrast, and suffer from noise near the peripheral bounds.

University at Buffalo researchers have developed an invention consisting of a mechanical shutter-like attenuator combined with advanced image processing to equalize image brightness in display and provide differential ROI real-time temporal processing. The device consists of four attenuator leaves that are able to slide with respect to one another to enable the aperture opening to form an arbitrary rectangular shape while maintaining close contact at the sliding edges so that only a narrow linear artifact may be visualized on the displayed image where the attenuator elements make contact. The design is optimized to minimize the presence of artifacts and the leave assembly can be modified to various sizes, shapes, and location.

This novel design provides a practical solution producing high quality ROI imaging and real-time continuous imaging in the periphery while reducing exposure to ionizing radiation for the patient.

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