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Overview of spectral detector CT

Philips CT Clinical Science Philips Healthcare • USA

PD Dr. Peter B. Noël

PI of Laboratory for Advanced Computed Tomography Imaging

Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology & Chair of Biomedical Physics

Technical University Munich

Ismaninger Street 22

81675 Munich



Since its introduction into the clinical setting in the early 1970s, CT has enormously transformed not only diagnostic imaging but also the whole field of medicine. During the last four decades CT has experienced an explosive growth, which can be attributed to its wide availability, speed and groundbreaking diagnostic benefits. Over the last decade, a large effort has been done to develop advanced reconstruction algorithms to improve diagnostic quality and to reduce radiation exposure. Current CT diagnostics, the backbone of radiology, only offer assessment of structural changes in density, size and perfusion. However, improvements are insight with Spectral CT systems.


Spectral computed tomography

SCT detectors can perform “color” X-ray detection; they can discriminate the energy of individual X-ray photons and divide them into two pre-defined energy layers, thereby providing a spectral analysis of the transmitted X-ray beam. By measuring the X-ray attenuation in two distinct energy layers, one can gain information about the elemental composition of an object, making it possible via material decomposition to distinguish between different materials, such as contrast agents and different types of tissue, in a single CT scan. This concept of SCT is based on the attenuation differential of various materials when simultaneously exposed to low- and high-energy X-ray photons (which are emitted in a wide range by a standard X-ray tube). This reflects the difference in material interaction with low- and high-energy photons and resultant changes in Compton scatter and photoelectric effects. Figure 1 presents some of the possible results which can be generated with current SCT systems.

Figure 1

Overview of the possible results which currently can be generated with SCT systems (from left to right): conventional CT, virtual non-contrast (iodine excluded), virtual mono energetic image, quantitative iodine density, and effective atomic number (Z-eff) of different regions and organs (figure adapted from Noël 2017).

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Oct 12, 2017

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IQon Spectral CT
13th MDCT Users Meeting abstracts, abdomen, Body, Effective Z, iodine density, kidney/renal, MonoE, spectral CT, virtual non-contrast

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