Philips X-Ray Image Intensifier 5”

1955 Philips II.JPG 

In 1956 one of the first Philips X-ray image intensifiers is acquired. This electronic light intensifier allows  X-ray images to be shown remotely on a TV monitor. The intensifier will be applied to the design of the image-guided cobalt irradiation machine, that will be ready in 1961.

Schematic cross-section of the X-ray image intensifier. R=Fluorescent screen, activated by the X-rays which have passed the object 0 to be examined and the glass wall of the tube. D = carrier of the fluorescent screen and the photocathode layer. K= photocathode in which the fluorescent radiation, generated in R, releases electrons. W = a conducting coating on the inside of the tube. The 'electron image' is projected through the hollow anode A and is reduced in size  on the observer screen F1, by the electric field between K and the anode A. The image is looked at through a simple microscope M. Instead of the microscope, a photo or a TV camera can for example be applied to make the X-ray image visible. 

From 1956, the II/TV (image intensifier / television) system is also used in experimental medical applications in the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). Tests are mentioned in the annual reports about image-guided radiation of lung tumours and of the hypophyse. 

The image intensifier is used for X-ray imaging during skull drillings. Yttrium radioactive rods are placed in the hypophyse of patients who suffer from an advanced mamma carcinoma. In 1963 the workshop in the NKI builds a fixture for Dr. Lokkerbol in which the skull can be immobilized, and on which the drilling and implantation can be performed. This fixture is still present in 2012 in the Radiotherapy Department.