First surgical applications of X-ray imaging can be traced back as early as to the Spanish-American war in 1898, where Elizabeth Fleischmann (San Francisco) was recognized by the surgeon general of the United States for using images (film plates) obtained under different exposure angles, to triangulate pieces of shrapnel in the body of her patients [1]. In the 1920s, the first patents were issued for imaging a single plane or slice of the human body, soon called tomographs (tomos (greek): section or cut and graphein: to write) and the first instrument was built in 1931 [1]. In 1928, Jean Kieffer, a French Immigrant, devised the design of an X-ray apparatus that would yield a sharp image of the region of interest with the surrounding areas blurred out. The first such device, named the Kieffer laminagaph, was not built until 1937. With the help of others it was developed at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, [1]. With the advent of the minicomputers in the late 1970s, the modality of computed tomography was born. Pioneers of this area were Sir Godfrey Hounsfield (EMI, Central Research UK) and Allan McLeod Comack (Tufts University, USA). Both shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine (1979) for their discoveries. The original 1971 prototype took 160 readings in a range of 180°, where each reading (or scan) took a few minutes. Algebraic reconstruction algorithms then took 2.5 h to compute the final image [2].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputational Surgery and Dual Training
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781441911223
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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