Can X Ray Machines See Drugs

Maria Garcia
• Wednesday, 28 October, 2020
• 8 min read

Bernie, a professor of synchrotron radiation and materials science, cautions against being fooled: “This gives you a high spatial resolution density contrast image that is often false colored to aid diagnosis. With this in mind, Bernie talks of “color” x -rays which, like visible light, contain a range of electromagnetic wavelengths.

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(Source: www.scanxsecurity.com)


In early TEDDY experiments, Bernie imaged thin samples of nylon, aluminum, and deer antler bone. For larger samples scanned at high resolutions, millions of voxels means a data processing problem but will also provide Bernie with useful answers.

“The TEDDY method is highly applicable to biomaterials, with the possibility of specific tissue identification in humans. Paul Evans, professor of applied imaging science at Nottingham Trent University, thinks that TEDDY is excellent work which produces very accurate results.

“Using scattered radiation generally enables you to identify materials rather than the crude discrimination which currently exists at airports,” Evans says. Although shadow graphs and CAT scanners are proven techniques, using those invisible colors in x -rays for materials identification adds a new dimension.

The machine then likely showed agents a series of black-and-white images of the truck that highlighted metallic and organic material, such as drugs. That 649 pounds of fentanyl and methamphetamine hidden in the trailer's false floor probably lit up the images in bright white.

The first machine, called a Z Portal, was set up in San Ysidro, California, which is the busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere, according to the federal government. Aiken Detection On an average day, CBP says more than 1 million travelers and $6.3 billion worth of legal cargo cross through the country's ports of entry.

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(Source: pointsecurityinc.com)

But if they scan over organic material, like a package of drugs or bundle of cash, they'll see an intense white signal. Ryan likened the increased scanning to when the Transportation Security Administration decided to screen all checked baggage going onto airplanes after 9/11.

“Limiting exposure to medical radiation should be on every woman’s cancer-prevention list,” says Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD, professor of radiology, epidemiology, biostatistics and health policy at the University of California, San Francisco. “About a third of CT scans are clinically unnecessary or could be avoided by using conventional X -rays or an imaging test that doesn’t use radiation, like ultrasound or MRI,” says David J. Brenner, PhD, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center.

Now with a single scan we can confidently make the call in minutes, and the patient walks out the door afterward. Odds are good you’ll get a CT, even though current guidelines say that doctors shouldn’t perform imaging tests on patients with migraines or chronic headaches.

Brain scans, whether a CT or an MRI, are worthwhile only if you have a headache with other worrisome symptoms, such as weakness or numbness on one side of your body, explains Brian Callaghan, MD, a neurologist at the University of Michigan. “When my son did a head-dive out of a tree and was vomiting afterward, the ER doc recommended a CT scan to rule out a brain bleed, and I was happy to have the test.

And the newest studies reveal that children who undergo CT scans of the head, abdomen or chest are more likely to develop brain cancer and leukemia over the next 10 years. Children are more vulnerable than adults; not only do their growing bodies and rapidly multiplying cells put them at a higher risk, they also have far more years ahead of them during which they could develop cancer.

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(Source: www.thestar.com)

“If they weren’t, everyone who goes out in the sun would get skin cancer,” points out James Brink, MD, radiologist in chief at Massachusetts General Hospital. The poison is in the dose, says John Voice, SCD, president of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University.

The issue of medical radiation is now on most physicians’ and medical societies’ radars; just this fall, the American Heart Association called for doctors to learn about, and discuss with patients, the risks of radiation exposure from cardiovascular imaging tests. For instance, dosages aren’t standardized across imaging centers, which means that one hospital or clinic may be delivering up to 50 times as much radiation as another facility, according to Dr. Smith-Bindman.

Still, the more common problem is that too many scans are being done in the first place, particularly in the ER, where doctors sometimes order CTs before they’ve fully evaluated a patient, Dr. Smith-Bindman says. One reason: Many MDs today have a lower tolerance for ambiguity than ever before and have learned to trust images to give them definitive answers, even when other methods, including a risk-free physical exam, can provide the information needed.

In addition, physicians in private practice may feel financial pressure to recoup the cost of expensive equipment. Avoiding unnecessary medical radiation starts with speaking up and being your own best advocate (see 5 Questions to Ask Before You Have That Scan, page 117).

The ACR has also created the Dose Index Registry in an effort to compare dosage information across facilities. About a third of the 3,000 or so scanning facilities in the U.S. are members, which means they get updates on the dosages other centers are using for similar tests, explains Morin, who was the founding chair of the registry.

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(Source: www.scanxsecurity.com)

Avoid unnecessary radiation from even low-level sources, like dental X -rays, which you probably don’t need every year unless you have ongoing problems with tooth decay. “I always tell my friends to say to their doctors who recommend CTs, ‘I’m happy to have the test, but I’d like you to help me understand why I really need it,'” Dr. Smith-Bindman says.

5 Questions to ask before you have that scan “When a doctor prescribes a medication, she always talks about the risks and benefits,” says Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD. But it’s valid to do a CT if the doctor suspects a skull fracture or brain bleed, says Robert Cantu, MD, clinical professor of neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine.

Sinus infection: This everyday health problem can generally be diagnosed through symptoms and a physical exam, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Back pain: Most cases improve on their own within a month, so it doesn’t make sense to expose yourself to unnecessary radiation.

A 2009 study of airline pilots, who tend to be exposed to elevated levels of ionizing radiation, found that those with diets highest in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin (found in pumpkin, papaya and red peppers) and lutein-zeaxanthin (in leafy greens, egg yolks and squash) had fewer biomarkers of cumulative DNA damage. Researchers in Toronto have recently shown that taking antioxidants before a scan can reduce the number of DNA breaks caused by the radiation.

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