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Phys Med Biol. 2000 Apr;45(4):933-46.

Computed tomography of x-ray index of refraction using the diffraction enhanced imaging method.

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  • 1Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA.


Diffraction enhanced imaging (DEI) is a new, synchrotron-based, x-ray radiography method that uses monochromatic, fan-shaped beams, with an analyser crystal positioned between the subject and the detector. The analyser allows the detection of only those x-rays transmitted by the subject that fall into the acceptance angle (central part of the rocking curve) of the monochromator/analyser system. As shown by Chapman et al, in addition to the x-ray attenuation, the method provides information on the out-of-plane angular deviation of x-rays. New images result in which the image contrast depends on the x-ray index of refraction and on the yield of small-angle scattering, respectively. We implemented DEI in the tomography mode at the National Synchrotron Light Source using 22 keV x-rays, and imaged a cylindrical acrylic phantom that included oil-filled, slanted channels. The resulting 'refraction CT image' shows the pure image of the out-of-plane gradient of the x-ray index of refraction. No image artefacts were present, indicating that the CT projection data were a consistent set. The 'refraction CT image' signal is linear with the gradient of the refractive index, and its value is equal to that expected. The method, at the energy used or higher, has the potential for use in clinical radiography and in industry.

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