Electronic noise in CT detectors: Impact on image noise and artifacts

Xinhui Duan, Jia Wang, Shuai Leng, Bernhard Schmidt, Thomas Allmendinger, Katharine Grant, Thomas Flohr, Cynthia H. McCollough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The OBJECTIVE of our study was to evaluate in phantoms the differences in CT image noise and artifact level between two types of commercial CT detectors: one with distributed electronics (conventional) and one with integrated electronics intended to decrease system electronic noise. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Cylindric water phantoms of 20, 30, and 40 cm in diameter were scanned using two CT scanners, one equipped with integrated detector electronics and one with distributed detector electronics. All other scanning parameters were identical. Scans were acquired at four tube potentials and 10 tube currents. Semianthropomorphic phantoms were scanned to mimic the shoulder and abdominal regions. Images of two patients were also selected to show the clinical values of the integrated detector. RESULTS. Reduction of image noise with the integrated detector depended on phantom size, tube potential, and tube current. Scans that had low detected signal had the greatest reductions in noise, up to 40% for a 30-cm phantom scanned using 80 kV. This noise reduction translated into up to 50% in dose reduction to achieve equivalent image noise. Streak artifacts through regions of high attenuation were reduced by up to 45% on scans obtained using the integrated detector. Patient images also showed superior image quality for the integrated detector. CONCLUSION. For the same applied radiation level, the use of integrated electronics in a CT detector showed a substantially reduced level of electronic noise, resulting in reductions in image noise and artifacts, compared with detectors having distributed electronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)W626-W632
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • Artifacts
  • Electronics
  • Noise
  • Radiation dosage
  • X-ray CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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