CT Imaging at the Mayo Clinic
CT imaging at the Mayo Clinic dates back to the first CT scanner ever, the EMI Mark I head CT system, which was installed in 1973 as the 2nd clinical CT system in the world. Since that time, Mayo has installed approximately 100 CT scanners covering every level of CT technology. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic has a long history in innovation with CT imaging. The Dynamic Spatial Reconstructor — prior to 2006 the only multiple x-ray tube CT system ever built — was designed, built and used here from 1974 through the 1980s by Drs. Earl Wood, Erik Ritman, Rich Robb and colleagues. In 1987, Mayo installed the first of an eventual 5 electron beam CT systems for the development of clinical and research "fast CT" applications. Thus, Mayo Clinic has a rich history of innovative work in CT imaging, as well as technical and clinical experience, that are matched by few institutions.
CT Clinical Innovation Center (CT CIC)
Mayo's CT Clinical Innovation Center, directed by Dr. McCollough, is a 3500 square feet clinical research facility that provides protected research access to a state of the art CT technology, as well as advanced image processing and computing tools. The CT scanners at this location are used for patient and human subject each morning and reserved for phantom and specimen research scanning each afternoon. In addition to clinical support space for patient scanning, the CT CIC has a conference room and library collection. A physics lab houses numerous phantoms, test objects, and dosimetry devices.
CT Scanner Technology in the CT CIC
Currently, a Siemens SOMATOM Definition Flash is installed in the CT CIC. Mayo Clinic was the first institution in the United States to install this system. This was a continuation of our successful collaboration with Siemens Healthcare, which began in 2004 with the installation of the first Siemens Sensation 64 CT system in the United States. Since 2004, two other "first of their kind" CT systems have been located in the CT CIC: a Definition Dual Source CT, installed in 2006, and a Definition AS+, installed in 2008.
Dual source CT systems are equipped with 2 x-ray tubes positioned approximately 90° apart. The current system has a minimum gantry rotation time of 0.28 sec, which allows a temporal resolution of 75 msec.
The system can also be used for dual-energy CT imaging where the two x-ray tubes are operated at different tube potentials, one x-ray source typically operating at a low energy (e.g. 80 or 100 kV) and the other operating at a high energy (e.g. 140 kV). The utilization of different tube energies allows for differentiation between materials such as iodine, calcium and uric acid and is used clinically for automated removal of bone or iodinated contrast material, and the visualization of blood perfusion. In addition, dual-energy CT can be used to identify the composition of materials in the body, and can be used to identify renal stone type or to detect uric acid deposits in joints (i.e. gout).
Center for Advanced Imaging Research (CAIR)
The CAIR facility, located in the Opus Building, provides dedicated fluoroscopic, CT and MRI imaging capabilities, and an animal surgery and recovery suite for research use. The research dual-source dual-energy CT scanner housed in this building in the Opus Building is managed by CT CIC personnel and is fully available for animal and phantom research. Because patients are not scanned in this location, modifications are able to be made.
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