Imaging Physics

Contact Us

Imaging Physics
Room ON2118
675 McDermot Ave
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0V9
Imaging.Physics@cancercare.mb.ca
Phone: 204-787-4145
Fax: 204-775-1684

Service Head , Medical Physics - Imaging & Radiation Protection:
Ingvar Fife, Ph.D., CRadP, CSci, MIPEM 204-787-2213

Ultrasound and MR Specialist:
Daniel Rickey, Ph.D, MCCPM
204-787-1764

X-ray, CT and Mammography Specialist:
Idris Elbakri, Ph.D. MCCPM
204-787-2856

Nuclear Medicine Specialist:
Samantha Eustace, M.Sc., CCPM
204-787-8619

Mahmoud Al-Abedi, M.Sc., DABSNM
204-787-4703

X-ray and CT Specialist:
Harry Ingleby, Ph.D. MCCPM
204-787-2126

Physics Associate:
Mile Calic
204-787-1737

Diagnostic imaging plays a major role in Healthcare and the Imaging Physicists give support to diagnostic imaging departments throughout Manitoba. We work closely with the radiologist, physician and radiation technologist to ensure that the medical images obtained are the best that can be achieved.

The Physicist's expertise includes equipment specification and testing, quality assurance, optimization of techniques for clinical procedures, research and development and teaching.

Our professional standards are defined by the Canadian Organization of Medical Physics and the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine.

The function of Imaging Physicists is to:

  • Optimize the imaging characteristics of diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Provide technical expertise to purchasers of imaging equipment.
  • Provide independent technical advice to Manitoba Health with respect to imaging equipment.
  • Provide physics education to physicists, physicians, graduate students, technologists and residents.
  • Perform research in medical imaging physics

What We Do

Imaging Physics promotes acceptable practice in medical imaging physics and maintains the level of professional standards defined by the Canadian Organization of Medical Physics and the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine. Imaging recognizes the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine as an accrediting body.

Key Functions

The key functions of Imaging Physicists include the following:

    1. Optimize the imaging characteristics of medical imaging equipment.
      • develop and supervise QA programs
      • ensure the safe operation of equipment
      • help diagnosis problem systems
      • advise on user protocols used by the system
    2. Provide technical expertise to purchasers of medical imaging equipment.
      • formulate technical specifications that potential equipment must meet
      • perform a technical assessment of equipment in order to purchase the most cost-effective instrument
      • perform acceptance testing to ensure that equipment performs as promised
    3. Provide independent technical advice to Manitoba Health with respect to imaging equipment.
      • advice concerning new equipment and technology
      • advice concerning serviceability of existing equipment
      • advice concerning upgrading or replacing existing equipment
    4. Provide physics education to physicists, physicians, graduate students, technologists, and residents.
    5. Perform research in medical imaging physics.
      • develop new imaging devices
      • develop new clinical techniques
      • assess existing techniques
      • develop image processing and display techniques

Key Imaging Equipment (Modalities)

The imaging equipment that we are most familiar with includes the following:

Items for testing

A variety of different items are used as phantoms for testing diagnostic equipment.

Photograph showing typical phantoms used for testing diagnostic x-ray equipment.

Nuclear Medicine

Radioactive-labelled compounds are injected into a patient and their distributions recorded using a gamma-camera or PET camera. It provides excellent functional information but is slow.

Nuclear medicine image: the large white "X" is due to a damaged detector crystal.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound uses high frequency (typically 2 to 13 MHz) sound to make images of soft tissues and measure blood flow. It is very safe, fast and relatively inexpensive.

Poor quality ultrasound image showing a large black streak caused by a faulty probe.

CT

CT uses x-rays to make cross sectional images. It is somewhat expensive and evolving rapidly.

Good quality image of a contrast-detail phantom made by x-ray computed tomography. How many white circles can you see?

Mammography

Makes very-high resolution x-ray images of the breast. Currently most systems use film although digital instruments are available.

X-ray mammography image of a standardized phantom. Image quality is evaluated by the number of targets that can be seen.

MRI

MRI uses a large static magnet along with time-varying magnetic fields to make images. It is very versatile and is particularly important in imaging the head and spine. Although very safe, it is also very expensive and somewhat slow.

Magnetic resonance image showing
a huge amount of geometric distortion.
The image of the phantom should be circular.

Fluoroscopy

An x-ray technique for making dynamic images (movies) of moving structures such as the heart. .

X-ray tube with a cracked anode due to misuse.

Computed Radiography

A filmless method for making x-ray images.

General Radiography

Consists of standard film-based and fluoroscopic x-ray systems. It also includes the film processors.

PACS and Teleradiology

Includes the software and hardware required to store, retrieve, transmit, display and process medical images within a facility or between facilities. It is replacing film.

Guidance for Quality Control

To assist diagnostic imaging sites with the development and implementation of equipment quality control (QC) programs for the various imaging modalities, the Imaging Physics Department has developed modality-specific quality control guidance documents. The documents provide a broad outline of the components of typical QC programs. They do not describe tests in detail. Actual QC programs may differ depending on the diagnostic imaging equipment age, patient load and available resources.


In addition, the following reference documents maybe useful for the establishment of the quality control programs.

The Imaging Physics Department at CancerCare Manitoba provides physics testing for diagnostic imaging equipment, and can assist diagnostic imaging departments in setting up QC programs, training staff to perform QC tests and identifying appropriate QC tools.

You can contact the Imaging Department at Imaging.Physics@cancercare.mb.ca or by calling 204-787-4145.