Physics of anatomical imaging

Medical Physics, Second Cycle
2 year

Prof. Dr. Igor Serša, Assist. Prof. Dr. Damijan Škrk

Hours per week – 1. semester:

Regular enrolement

Content (Syllabus outline)

X-rays: sources and characteristics, structure, performance, heating, cooling of X-ray, apertures, light field indicators, filters, radiation safety
X-ray detectors: formation and parameters of radiogram, enhancements, Bucky Potter grid, contrast, amplification, resolution, contrast, signal, noise, artifacts, radiographic film composition, properties and film development, exposure, optical density, characteristic curves, average film contrast, sensitivity, densitometer, sensitometers, semiconductor detectors and digital systems
Diascopy: structure, types and functioning of the diascopic X-ray sources, use of contrast agents
Physical principles of computed tomography (CT): scanner components, digital systems, acquisition, reconstruction and display of CT data, CT dose index, spiral CT, multislice CT, use of CT in diagnostics
Physical principles of ultrasound: US sources, US propagation through materials, Doppler effects and US measurements of flow, typical use of US in diagnostics
Physical principles of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): fundamentals of NMR, fundamentals of MRI (k-space), MR acquisition sequences, MRI equipment, safety of MRI procedures
Physical principles of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS): typical MR spectra of different materials in biological systems, methods of NMR signal localization
Image analysis: image contrast operation, image filtration (noise removal, sharpening, edge detection), mathematical operations between images, Fourier analysis, image segmentation, digital analysis of multi-dimensional images, image fusion
Digital systems in radiology: DICOM standard, archival systems and overview of digital images
Novel imaging techniques: electric resistance tomography, dielectric tomography


• William R. Hendee, E. Russell Ritenour, Medical Imaging Physics, John Wiley & Sons, 4th edition, (Junij 2002) 536pp, ISBN: 0471382264
• Jerrold T. Bushberg, J. Anthony Seibert, Edvin M. Leidholdt, John M. Boone, The essential physics of medical imaging, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishers; 2nd edition (December, 2001), 933pp. ISBN: 0683301187
• Harrison H. Barrett, William Swindell, Radiological imaging: the theory of image formation, detection and processing, Academic Press; (September 1996), 708pp. ISBN: 0120796031
• P.P. Dendy, B. Heaton, Physics for Diagnostic Radiology , Medical Science Series, 2nd edition (1999), 446 pp ISBN 07503 0590 8
• P. Sprawls, Physical Principles of Medical Imaging, Medical Physics Publishing, (1993), 656pp, ISBN 0-944838-54-5

Objectives and competences

Students get familiar with the fundamentals of anatomical imaging.

Competences: Understanding of the physical fundamentals of different anatomical imaging modalities. Understanding of factors that influence image quality. Obtaining basic practical knowledge working with diagnostic equipment and understanding of potential work hazards. Obtaining basic knowledge of digital imaging analysis.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Obtaining fundamental knowledge of different anatomical imaging procedures. Understanding of factors that impact image quality and obtaining fundamental knowledge of working with diagnostic imaging equipment.
Fundamental knowledge of factors that influence quality of imaging equipment will enable better application of their use, as well as understanding of potential working hazards.
Critical evaluation of the quality of diagnostic procedures based on theoretical predictions.
Transferable skills:
Ability to collect the data and critically evaluate new literature in the field of anatomical imaging. Ability to understand and evaluate novel anatomical imaging procedure. Critical evaluation of existing anatomical imaging procedures.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, problem solving, homework, consultations.


Written exam (theory)
Written exam (problem solving), homework
Subject is also a part of the final committee exam. Marks: pass/fail (according to the UL rules).
grading: 5 (fail), 6-10 (pass) (according to the Statute of UL)

Lecturer's references
  1. Tratar G., Blinc A, Štrukelj M., Mikac U., Serša I. Turbulent axially directed flow of plasma containing rt-PA promotes thrombolysis of non-occlusive whole blood clots in vitro. Thromb. haemost., 2004, vol. 91, str. 487-496.
  2. BAJD, Franci, SERŠA, Igor. Mathematical modeling of blood clot fragmentation during flow-mediated thrombolysis. Biophys. j., 2013, vol. 104, no. 5, str. 1181-1190
  3. ARINO I. , et all, The HERA-B Ring Imaging Čerenkov Counter, Nucl. instrum, methods phys res., Sect. A, Accel., 2003, 516, str. 445-461.
  4. MEKIŠ, Nejc, ŽONTAR, Dejan, ŠKRK, Damijan. The effect of breast shielding during lumbar spine radiography. Radiol. oncol. (Ljubl.), mar. 2013, vol. 47, no. 1, str. 26-31, II, ilustr.