The radiology industry is highly complex and requires a high level of skill and knowledge to work in. Radiologists must be prepared to face a variety of challenges in their field, including issues with equipment.
A CT scanner is a machine used to create cross-sectional images of the body by combining multiple X-ray images taken from different angles. This technology is extremely useful for diagnosing a wide variety of illnesses and injuries. It is also an important tool for monitoring the progress of treatment.
While CT scanners are highly advanced pieces of technology, they can sometimes have hiccups. In some cases, the machine may malfunction or produce an inaccurate image. As a radiologist, it is important to know how to troubleshoot and fix such issues in order to ensure accurate imaging results.
Let’s take a look at some common CT Scanner issues.
Image Resolution Issues
This can manifest with a jagged, out-of-focus, or pixelated appearance when viewed on the monitor. It could even be that the resulting images are too dark or bright to discern any detail from them.
If your image appears blurry, make sure that you check for an adequate resolution level.
Image Files Are Too Large
If your image files are too large for the CT scanner, your images may not be properly reconstructed. If this occurs, it can lead to artifacts within the final image as well as inaccurate measurements and estimates of other areas that were not evaluated.
In order to address this issue, you will need to optimize the size of your image files when uploading them. Some scanners allow you to choose a smaller file size – but make sure you don’t reduce it too much.
Density Contrast Issues
When examining a patient for signs of inflammation or infection, density contrast is essential for an accurate result. With this technique, the density of the tumor being imaged will be contrasted against the surrounding soft tissues.
If you’re encountering issues interpreting your results with density contrast, it could be due to one of two possibilities:
Remedies for resolving density contrast imagery difficulties
Make sure the imaging machine’s status displays how dense your scan should be before initiating the process; if in doubt leave it alone.
Adjusting the machine’s intensity up or down may be necessary in order to normalize any discrepancies between what it presents as ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’. Make sure not to overdo it if adjustments need to be made during scanning; don’t forget that compromising image quality could lead to faulty results.
A well-maintained computer can serve you faithfully for years, but improper calibration could lead to unexpected results. A CT scanner’s cone-beam pattern is not stationary like a traditional X-ray. Instead, its position changes along with a body’s shape during the scan operation. Each person experiences different positions on the cone beam resulting in slightly different output images – requiring further refinement to achieve an ideal visualization of one’s anatomy.
There are a few reasons why this could occur:
Poor positioning of the tube itself: This may necessitate repositioning the detector. Additionally, if the angle between the scanner and the patient varies while scanning (for example when standing up or reclining) during a doctor’s visit, adjustments must be made so that your image remains in focus. Over time these could result in inaccurate data points due to conversely adjusting both the tube position as well as altering its inclination towards you.
Incorrect calibration settings: Your software settings or hardware configuration could induce unwanted effects on measurements such as jittery noise or poor resolution which require recalibration. Unusual patient dimensions: If someone possesses unusual physical characteristics like being unusually obese or experiencing hair growth inside their chest area then it may become necessary to reevaluate scanner placement if needed in order for CT scans to be conducted effectively.
Various Power Surges
If your CT scanner encounters a surge in power, such as when switching on or off; turning it off and on again; or switching between various modes – then prepare for some diagnostic confusion.
When an electrical surge occurs, it could result in issues with any connected device. Depending on the power that surges through it, one may experience breakers tripping or even damage to sensitive electronics and components that are irreplaceable.
Too Much Image Noise
If you observe excessive image noise within your scan, this may indicate that the CT scanner is not adequately compensating for it. This can be remedied by adjusting the field intensity setting – typically between 10% and 90% – to obtain a more optimal outcome; its level of aggressiveness varies from scanner to scanner.
If there remains too much image noise after applying these adjustments, consider having an imaging specialist perform some additional corrections.
Regardless of the nature of the issue, always be sure to maintain optimal CT scanner conditions to ensure the best imaging results. By adhering to these simple tips, you can keep your equipment performing at peak capacity.