On a new multi-source X-ray tube concept for minimizing imaging time in digital breast tomosynthesis


      Replacing moving mechanics in computed tomography (CT) and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) has inspired numerous projects to develop alternative X-ray sources. While less suitable for CT, DBT is a viable target application for the multi-X-ray-source array tube suggested in Becker, A.E., et al. (2020): A prototype Multi-X-ray-source array (MXA) for digital breast tomosynthesis. Physics in Medicine & Biology, 65(23), 235033. The proposed prototype MXA tube comprises rotating anode disks and a set of thermionic grid switchable cathodes. It is a first-of-a-kind X-ray tube emitting brake radiation (Bremsstrahlung), developed to minimize exposure times for DBT down to the limits set by the dynamics of the employed flat panel detectors. This commentary takes a closer look at the above article and the presented concept. The MXA is expected to be scalable for long service life. The technology has potential for further extension beyond the primary target application of mammography tomosynthesis.
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        A prototype Multi-X-ray-source array (MXA) for digital breast tomosynthesis.
        Phys Med Biol. 2020; 65235033
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