18 March 2015 Initial results from a prototype whole-body photon-counting computed tomography system
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Abstract
X-ray computed tomography (CT) with energy-discriminating capabilities presents exciting opportunities for increased dose efficiency and improved material decomposition analyses. However, due to constraints imposed by the inability of photon-counting detectors (PCD) to respond accurately at high photon flux, to date there has been no clinical application of PCD-CT. Recently, our lab installed a research prototype system consisting of two x-ray sources and two corresponding detectors, one using an energy-integrating detector (EID) and the other using a PCD. In this work, we report the first third-party evaluation of this prototype CT system using both phantoms and a cadaver head. The phantom studies demonstrated several promising characteristics of the PCD sub-system, including improved longitudinal spatial resolution and reduced beam hardening artifacts, relative to the EID sub-system. More importantly, we found that the PCD sub-system offers excellent pulse pileup control in cases of x-ray flux up to 550 mA at 140 kV, which corresponds to approximately 2.5×1011 photons per cm2 per second. In an anthropomorphic phantom and a cadaver head, the PCD sub-system provided image quality comparable to the EID sub-system for the same dose level. Our results demonstrate the potential of the prototype system to produce clinically-acceptable images in vivo.
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Z. Yu, S. Leng, S. M. Jorgensen, Z. Li, R. Gutjahr, B. Chen, X. Duan, A. F. Halaweish, L. Yu, E. L. Ritman, C. H. McCollough, "Initial results from a prototype whole-body photon-counting computed tomography system", Proc. SPIE 9412, Medical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging, 94120W (18 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2082739; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2082739
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