Twenty-five years ago, in 1980, the first edition of "imaging systems for medical diagnostics" appeared as a German paperback. This was a time when computed tomography with X-rays had just made its way into clinical routine and when real time ultrasound replaced static B-scanners. Magnetic resonance imaging, single photon and positron emission tomography were still in their infancy. The rapid development of these methods has led to two further editions, the last having appeared in 1995. An English translation of the second edition came out in 1990.
Why is it time now for a new edition? Imaging technology has made tremendous progress. All imaging modalities are now capable of generating three dimensional information of the human body. In order to make this information accessible, sophisticated digital image processing is required. Methods for the exact spatiotemporal superposition of information from different modalities have to be applied. The drastically increasing importance of information technology is further emphasized by the need for a uniform platform with an identical user interface for all modalities. Syngo has been a pioneer in this field. Ultimately, information technology enables the optimization of clinical workflow and thus helps increase the quality of care while at the same time reducing cost.
A new edition of "imaging systems for medical diagnostics", therefore, can no longer restrict itself to the physical basics and to the actual technology of imaging instruments. Because of their increasing significance, applications of image and information processing and distribution have to be included. Nevertheless, the importance of the physical principles of modern imaging systems persists, which has led to the wellknown extraordinary technical solutions. The desire to convey this variety of technical knowledge explains the significant increase in the volume of the book.
In keeping with increasing internationalization not only in medical science but in all areas, this new edition appears only in English. The authors are active specialists in project management and development in the medical industry who drafted their contributions concurrently with their professional duties and were motivated by their devotion to the arena. A unique compendium of modern medical imaging technology has emerged which is useful for all parties, technically interested physicians as well as students, technicians, engineers and physicists.
Dr. Hermann Requardt
Executive Vice President, Siemens Medical Solutions
This book is intended to give an overview on medical imaging from the technical side. It starts by recapitulating the biological facts of the human visual system, presents the physics of the imaging process, portrays current technical designs and concludes with the last developments of software technology. It is composed of five parts: The first part is dedicated to images, how they are processed in the human eye, how they can be subjectively characterized, how they can be displayed and fused when obtained from different modalities, and how one can use them to navigate. The second part is devoted to the physics of the different imaging methods, applying X-rays and γ-rays, ultrasound or nuclear magnetic resonance. The third part gives an outline on system theory and image reconstruction. The fourth part deals with the technology of actual imaging instrumentation revealing some of their design secrets. Finally, the fifth part is devoted to the handling, evaluation and distribution of medical images. A uniform user interface, computer assisted detection of lesions and integration into the hospital workflow are becoming increasingly important matters.
To compile such a plentitude of information into a single volume is a challenging task. It is expected that the reader is familiar with basic mathematics and the fundamentals of Fourier transform theory. The editor wishes to thank the 85 authors and co-authors who have contributed with their professional knowledge for their cooperation. Thanks also go to the publisher for his patient willingness to respond to the suggestions of the editor and to bring the sometimes bumpy English manuscripts into readable form. In particular, the tremendous dedication of the publishing editor Gerhard Seitfudem warrants special mention. Finally, this book would not have been possible without the continuous encouragement and support of the members of the board of Siemens Medical Solutions.
May the 4th edition (i.e. 2nd edition in English) of "imaging for medical diagnostics" be accepted as a handbook suited as well for students interested in biomedical engineering as for their teachers, for developers and experts, and for everyone interested in current medical technology.