The X-ray tube is the single most expensive consumable part on a CT. In a way, the tube is the top dog, the big cheese; the king of the CT kingdom. Because of this, it makes sense to gear one’s preventative maintenance toward extending tube life. In the case of Toshiba’s reigning CXB tube series, we’d like to recommend a few things to help your site shout, “Long live the King,” and really deliver on it.
Generally your Aquilion tube should easily reach a 500,000 slice count, while counts nearing 1,000,000 slices are not unheard of on the high end. So why would a tube fail much earlier than that? There are a number of reasons, but the most common, especially for systems with replacement tubes, is that the cooling system has been compromised.
Temperature is Key
The Toshiba Aquilion family of CTs uses a Varian tube design that has some exceptional engineering characteristics. In terms of X-ray tube life, the main feature is efficient removal of heat from the tube. In a maintained system, this characteristic gives long tube life.