Medical Imaging, Signals and Systems

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Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Explain the physical and technological principles behind various types of radiation detectors and imaging modalities.
  • Use the signals and systems approach to describe and estimate the quality of an imaging system.
  • Display understanding of the Fourier space representation of images.
  • Use the physics of radiation absorption and generation together with the geometries of the different imaging modalities to solve numerical problems.
  • Perform image reconstruction for Computed Tomography and understand the sinogram representation of images.

The student is required to use a mathematical programming language such as MATLAB for the hand-ins and laboratory work.To qualify for the highest grades, the student should also demonstrate the ability to:

  • Identify physical and current technological limitations of medical imaging systems.
  • Apply knowledge from imaging modalities within the course content on novel imaging techniques.
  • Solve medical imaging problems that relate to statistics and probability theory.
  • Show understanding of the connection between the image quality metrics (e.g. PSF, MTF, NPS, SNR) and the final image.

Course main content

The course treats the physical, mathematical and technological aspects of medical imaging systems from a signals-and-systems point of view. Modalities (imaging types) covered include:

  • Projection Radiography
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Planar Scintigraphy
  • Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Ultrasound imaging (briefly)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (briefly)

Numerical methods to quantify the performance of medical imaging systems are presented. The design of medical imaging systems usually involves a number of trade-offs involving parameters such as: contrast, spatial resolution, noise, image acquisition time, size and cost. It is a major goal of the course to provide an understanding of these relations.


Recommended prerequisites: Fourier transforms and numercial analysis with Matlab or similar computer language.


Jerry L. Prince, Jonathan M. Links, "Medical Imaging Signals and Systems", 1st Edition (2009) or 2nd Edition (2014)


    One written exam (TEN1; 4,5 university credits) and laboratory/project work (LAB1; 3 university credits). Hand-in assignments during the course give bonus points for the written exam.

    Requirements for final grade

    Passing grade (A-E) in the written exam and passing grade (P) in the lab part.

    Offered by



    Chong Qi (


    Chong Qi <>

    Supplementary information

    This course replaces SH2310


    Course syllabus valid from: Spring 16.


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