3 Metrics Used to Measure a CT Scanner Tube’s Vitality

by | Dec 2, 2020 | CT

Reading Time: 2 minutes

All machines have their usage lifespan, as this is the way human-made items are designed to operate. With plenty of moving parts, wear and tear occur over time, significantly affecting these products’ functionality. Whether it is a daily item like a coffee maker, a car, or life-saving devices like MRI machines and CT scanners, these all have their usage period stamps. 

There are many CT parts available, and each plays an integral role in how accurate a scan turns out. Using x-rays, these are administered through the CT tube. These scanners run each day endlessly, diagnosing multiple patients at various times of the day. When a machine receives plenty of use, it becomes even more important to pay attention to different metrics that will come across. Knowing what looks like an anomaly can tell if CT parts need replacement, and here are three ways to measure the use of an x-ray tube:


Total Examinations

The total amount of patients examined is the sum of all individual cases done with a CT tube. This metric is useful to find ballpark tube usage statistics, but it is not always the most reliable technique. Reliability is not always accurate because various studies are conducted with varying degrees of power or total time spent. Sometimes, a patient might require a stronger scan or a standard scan that is longer. These will add stress on the CT tube, respectively, compared to the usual scanning done. 

A tube’s total count also has to factor in a facility’s usage and its specialties with its operation. If it is a facility specializing in trauma studies, the CT parts might experience more stress due to the intensity of use daily compared to general medical practices. 


Milliampere Seconds (mAs)

A milliampere seconds reading is a metric representing the total number of seconds spent applying power to the x-ray tube. Whether the machine is scanning, testing, or performing examinations, these will all be picked up by the mAs reading. This rating is similar to that of a car’s odometer, which runs and picks up readings no matter what speed the vehicle is going. 

Tubes rated for 7MHU will typically last 150 million mAs, while a 4MHU variant might last between 70 and 100 million mAs. mAs metrics are beneficial to see the average time of operation in a facility. Knowing this will determine when CT parts need a replacement or maintenance work is required. 


Scan Seconds

An overall view on the tube usage is best seen in a system’s scan seconds, which shows the total time the tube is powered to scan a patient. Similar to the points above, this metric might not be the best way to find an accurate rating because of the various power ratings and facility specializations. 



Using these three metrics in tandem will allow operators to see an overall picture of internal CT parts’ status and condition. Combining this with ample knowledge and understanding of various techniques and the facility’s specialization will aid in an accurate reading of metrics. 

DirectMed Parts is the premium source of MRI and CT Scan replacement parts in the USA. We carry a wide range of parts for various brands, putting your machine in good hands with us. Contact us to learn more about what components you may need for your MRI or CT scanners. 


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