In the first webinar, participants will be introduced to x-ray computed tomography (CT) and some key differences between CT and traditional x-ray. The basic specifications of a CT scanner (such as bore diameter, maximum image size, and table specifications) will be introduced, with reference to their impact on whole body postmortem scanning in particular. Basic considerations for deploying a CT scanner in a medical examiner setting (cost, personnel, space, safety) will also be discussed.
Participants will be introduced to the workflow and imaging protocols used routinely at the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI), including the layout of the image rooms, body movement and positioning, and how the images are reconstructed and displayed. Image data is reconstructed into several series, each of which is a stack of 2-dimensional images (slices).
Each series is reconstructed using a specific combination of algorithm, slice thickness, image plane (axial, coronal or sagittal), and default display settings (window and level), chosen to optimize the assessment of the anatomy of interest. The gray scale values displayed in CT are the Hounsfield Unit (HU) scale, a quantitative measure of the density of each tissue type.
Finally, image storage considerations will be discussed. Participants will be introduced to how a PACS (picture archiving and communications system) server enables large image data sets generated from PMCT to be accessed and reviewed at workstations throughout the office, while also ensuring that images are archived securely and redundantly.
Certificate of completion