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Generation of Backscattered X-Rays within an FEL Oscillator for Coronary Angiography*

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X-rays produced within an infrared free-electron laser (FEL) and imaged with a gated, intensified television camera may provide an inexpensive alternative to the use of synchrotrons for transvenous coronary angiography. The energy of these x-rays is dependent on the electron energy that can be controlled electronically. Variation of the x-ray energy will allow radiography above and below the K-edge of a number of elements. Image enhancement can be accomplished by digital subtraction of the radiographs. The x-ray intensities based on photon and electron intracavity powers in the operating Los Alamos 10-μm FEL compare favorably with those obtained from larger and much more expensive synchrotrons and electron storage rings. The FEL x-ray source and gated television camera can be synchronized with different phases of breathing and cardiac motion to allow the study of the heart and blood vessels at various stages of these motions.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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