An ultrahigh-resolution (UHR) data collection mode was enabled on a whole-body, research photon counting detector (PCD) computed tomography system. In this mode, 64 rows of
detector pixels were used, which corresponded to a pixel size of
at the isocenter. Spatial resolution and image noise were quantitatively assessed for the UHR PCD scan mode, as well as for a commercially available UHR scan mode that uses an energy-integrating detector (EID) and a set of comb filters to decrease the effective detector size. Images of an anthropomorphic lung phantom, cadaveric swine lung, swine heart specimen, and cadaveric human temporal bone were qualitatively assessed. Nearly equivalent spatial resolution was demonstrated by the modulation transfer function measurements: 15.3 and
spatial frequencies were achieved at 10% and 2% modulation, respectively, for the PCD system and 14.2 and
for the EID system. Noise was 29% lower in the PCD UHR images compared to the EID UHR images, representing a potential dose savings of 50% for equivalent image noise. PCD UHR images from the anthropomorphic phantom and cadaveric specimens showed clear delineation of small structures.