Phase-sensitive X-ray imaging of synovial joints

Phase-sensitive X-ray imaging of synovial joints
Li J, Zhong Z, Connor D, Mollenhauer J, Muehleman C
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2009 Sep; 17(9): 1193–1196. Published online 2009 Mar 24. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2009.03.005

To test the efficacy of phase-sensitive X-ray imaging for intact synovial joints, whereby refraction effects, along with the attenuation of conventional radiography, can be exploited. DESIGN:
Intact cadaveric human knee joints were imaged, in the computed tomographic mode, using an analyzer-based X-ray system at the National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven National Laboratory. A collimated fan beam of 51keV X-rays was prepared by a silicon [1,1,1 reflection] double-crystal monochromator. The X-ray beam transmitted through the specimen was imaged after diffraction in the vertical plane by means of the analyzer crystal with the analyzer crystal tuned to its half-reflectivity point (6.5murad). A two-dimensional filtered backprojection (FBP) algorithm was used for reconstructing transverse slices of images. RESULTS:
The resulting images demonstrate simultaneous soft tissue and bone contrast at a level that has not been achieved previously. Identifiable structures include articular cartilage, cruciate ligaments, loose connective tissue, menisci, and chondrocalcinosis. CONCLUSION:
Phase-sensitive X-ray imaging using an analyzer-based system renders exceptionally high quality images of soft and hard tissues within synovial joints, with high contrast and resolution, and thus holds promise for the eventual clinical utility.