Efficiency is the engine that drives radiology departments. Disruptions in workflow and equipment downtime can disrupt scheduling, which may cause unacceptable patient waiting times, the need to reschedule appointments, and delayed diagnosis. To keep the department running smoothly, hospitals rely on medical systems that deliver high uptime, outstanding image quality and a flawless workflow with no interruptions. For CT systems, one common impediment to continuous operation and high image quality is tube arcing.
Tube arcing occurs when there is a short-circuit within the tube. This can result in a temporary loss of X-ray output. While arcing occurs in all medical X-ray equipment, CT is most affected by arcing artifacts, because a CT study comprises more projectionsthan traditional radiography:
While tube arcing may cause several negative issues, the most critical is the creation of imaging artefacts, which are when something is seen on an image that is not present in reality. Imaging artefacts make diagnosis more difficult. Additional consequences of tube arcing are:
Termination of scans, causing an interruption of workflow
Arcing can cause artefacts and the need to repeat scans, which exposes the patient to additional X-ray dose
Large arcs can damage the tube and generator, causing the CT scanner to become inoperable.
The downtime caused by an inactive CT scanner awaiting replacement parts may delay patient diagnosis, or patients may obtain a CT scan at a different site, causing hospitals to lose revenue.
BENEFITS OF TUBES WITH LOW ARCING RATES
Benefits of X-ray tubes with low arcing rates
Disadvantages of X-ray tubes with high arcing rates
Higher staff and patient satisfaction
Less arcing reduces the risk of scan termination and improves workflow due to fewer interruptions.
Less interruptions, better workflow, which may lead to higher staff satisfaction
Higher Risk of interruptions/ slower workflow
Better patient experience
Less arcing decreases the risk of unnecessary repeat exposures, which decreases patient radiation dose.
Better patient experience / less radiation dose
Risk of higher radiation dose due to repeat exposures
Better health outcomes
Less arcing lowers the risk of missed projections and image artefacts.
Better health outcomes / lower risk of artefacts
Higher risk of artefacts
Lower costs of care
Less arcing reduces the risk of damage to the X-ray tube and/or generator.
Lower costs of care / Lower risk of damage
Higher risk of damages * / higher risk of downtime & maintenance costs
* to the components or CT system
To prevent arcing, hospitals need reliable CT systems manufactured with quality components. Dunlee’s tubes, generators and manufacturing processes are all designed to reduce arcing incidents.
Ultra-clean environment: Dunlee tubes are manufactured in an controlled clean environment to prevent particles from entering the tube.
X-Ray tubes with CoolGlide Liquid Metal Bearings Wear out of Ball Bearing tubes at end of bearing lifetime leads to higher friction inside the bearing, which leads to reduced anode frequency. Lower anode frequency is increasing the probability of arcing. Dunlee’s CoolGlide liquid metal bearings have virtually no wear-out and therefore these tubes have a lower arcing rate.
Generator and tube integration: When tubes are manufactured to pair with a dedicated generator, as with Dunlee's bundled solutions, the interfaces and electrical connections between the components are optimized to work together. Each bundle is tested before shipment.
Intelligent arc handling:Dunlee’s generators include intelligent arc handling functionality. The generator monitors the tube constantly. If indications for arcing are detected, it adapts the power input accordingly. This short power adaptation prevents a scan interruption.
DUNLEE´S CT XPERT BUNDLE: FEEDBACK FROM THE FIELD
Dunlee’s X-ray products are famous for their low arcing rates. An extensive field monitoring study*** to assess the performance of our CT Xpert bundles in daily operation found high customer satisfaction with the bundle.
Solution reliability proved to be outstanding, particularly the very low tube arcing rate, which the field study determined to be fewer than 1 scan interrupting arc* in 3 years.** This is achieved by the perfect alignment and integration of tube and generator in Dunlee’s Xpert bundle. It enables the tube to ride through up to 90 percent of tube arcs without interrupting the scan.
* Scan interrupting arc is an arc that terminates a scan and makes a re-scan necessary. ** At an average utilization of 200 kss per year *** available at Dunlee
Learn more about Arcing in Dunlee’s webinar on you tube:
Tabakov; X-RAY TUBE ARCING: MANIFESTATION AND DETECTION DURING QUALITY CONTROL, MEDICAL PHYSICS INTERNATIONAL Journal, vol.6, No.1, 2018
Barrett; Keat; Artifacts in CT: recognition and avoidance. Radiographics, 2004 ; Volume 24, No. 6 ; Nov-Dec; 24(6):1679-91. doi: 10.1148/rg.246045065.
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