Cycloidal Computed Tomography: A Novel method to reduce radi
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A team of researchers at the University College London (UCL) demonstrated that the new technique can provide the same quality image but with lower radiation doses.

Published in the journal Physical Review Applied, the study highlights a promising new method that will make imaging better, more accurate, but with lesser risks to the patient’s health.

A CT scan of the body uses sophisticated X-ray technology to help detect a wide range of diseases and conditions. The method uses computers and rotating X-ray machines to generate cross-sectional images of the body.

Though convenient and less invasive, previous studies have tied CT scans to a small increase in lifelong cancer risk due to the presence of high-energy wavelengths that can damage the DNA in cells. Even though cells can repair this type of damage, some repairs may not be perfect and can trigger DNA mutations in the future. As a result, it can lead to cancer cell formation.

The new CT scan method:
In the new method, the researchers used a mask with small slits over an X-ray beam, breaking it up into thinner ones called beamlets. The team then transferred the object being sampled in a cycloidal motion to make sure the entire object was irradiated quickly, wherein no parts were missed.

The team then compared the novel method to traditional CT scanning methods, wherein the item rotates as a full beam is directed to it. They found that the new method that delivers lesser doses of radiation produced the same quality of the image.

Study implications:
With lesser doses of radiation, the new method can help reduce the risk of cancer development tied to CT scanning methods. Conventional CT scans involve an X-ray beam that is rotated around the patient, with high doses of radiation exposure. On the other hand, the new cycloidal method combines the rotation with both backward and forward motion, with the use of beamlets.

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