Radiologic Technology News

Our roundup of recent headlines from the world of health care, focusing on news of interest to radiologic technologists.

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New CT Scanner Reduces Radiation Exposure

Feb 13, 2013

A new computed tomography scanner improves image quality while significantly reducing radiation in patients undergoing coronary CT angiography, according to a study published online in Radiology.

Using the new second-generation 320-detector row CT scanner, researchers from the National Institutes of Health performed contrast-enhanced CCTA on 107 adult patients with an average age of 55 who varied in height and weight. Researchers then compared the radiation dose and image quality of the new heart scans to 100 scans taken with a first-generation CT scanner at the NIH in 2010.

An analysis of the data found that with the second-generation CT scanner, radiation exposure was reduced by as much as 95 percent compared to the first-generation machine. In addition, the resulting images were not as blurry or grainy and showed greater visibility of fine details.

Developed by engineers from Toshiba Medical Systems, the second-generation CT system includes a gantry rotation time of 275 milliseconds, wide volume coverage, iterative reconstruction, automated exposure control and a larger x-ray power generator.   

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the new CT system, but researchers recommend conducting more studies before using the scanner in clinical settings.



  1. 4 Krista 27 Feb
    This article is a little confusing.  According to most textbooks that I've read, first and second generation CT scanners used a translate/rotate method.  The most common scanners today use rotate/rotate.   Is the article referring to generation of CT scanners or generations of detectors?  

    Third generation implemented the slip ring design that is allowing us to completely rotate 360 degrees not 1st and 2nd generation units.

    Most detectors are in an arc with some new flat panel detectors being tested.  Is the flat panel detector being referred to as a second generation detector because I was under the assumption this design would lead to a 7th generation CT scanner system?

    If Toshiba is reverting back to a second generation scanner, I don't see how the rotation time can be 275 ms. Perhaps, they are referring to coronary CT scanner generations??

    Can someone clarify what they mean by "second generation 320 detector row CT scanner'?

    Krista Mosley MBA, RT (R)(CT)(MR)
  2. 3 ASRT Stafff 28 Feb
    Thanks for your message, Krista. The data in the news item is from a study published online in the journal Radiology. To find out more, we recommend contacting the National Institutes of Health. The NIH spearheaded the study. Here is the NIH contact information: 301-496-4236 or Also, more information is available in this NIH news release,  
  3. 2 Eric Campbell 02 Mar
    I agree with Krista, please Clarify "second generation 320 detector row CT scanner'.

    I am pretty sure its 3rd Generation like all the rest of us are scanning on.

    Eric Campbell
  4. 1 Tami Sloan 16 Mar
    I believe they are referring to the second rendition of the 320 MDCT, not the actual "generation" of scanner.

    Tami Sloan BS, RT(R)(CT)(MR)

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