High-pitch, high temporal resolution, multi-energy cardiac imaging on a dual-source photon-counting-detector CT

Zaki Ahmed, David Campeau, Hao Gong, Kishore Rajendran, Prabhakar Rajiah, Cynthia McCollough, Shuai Leng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To measure the accuracy of material decomposition using a dual-source photon-counting-detector (DS-PCD) CT operated in the high-pitch helical scanning mode and compare the results against dual-source energy-integrating-detector (DS-EID) CT, which requires use of a low-pitch value in dual-energy mode. Methods: A DS-PCD CT and a DS-EID CT were used to scan a cardiac motion phantom consisting of a 3-mm diameter iodine cylinder. Iodine maps were reconstructed using DS-PCD in high-pitch mode and DS-EID in low-pitch mode. Image-based circularity, diameter, and iodine concentration of the iodine cylinder were calculated and compared between the two scanners. With institutional review board approval, in vivo exams were performed with the DS-PCD CT in high-pitch mode. Images were qualitatively compared against patients with similar heart rates that were scanned with DS-EID CT in low-pitch dual-energy mode. Results: On iodine maps, the mean circularity was 0.97 ± 0.02 with DS-PCD in high-pitch mode and 0.95 ± 0.06 with DS-EID in low-pitch mode. The mean diameter was 2.9 ± 0.2 mm with DS-PCD and 3.1 ± 0.2 mm with DS-EID, both of which are close to the 3 mm ground truth. For DS-PCD, the mean iodine concentration was 9.6 ± 0.8 mg/ml and this was consistent with the 9.4 ± 0.6 mg/ml value obtained with the cardiac motion disabled. For DS-EID, the concentration was 12.7 ± 1.2 mg/ml with motion enabled and 11.7 ± 0.5 mg/ml disabled. The background noise in the iodine maps was 15.1 HU with DS-PCD and 14.4 HU with DS-EID, whereas the volume CT dose index (CTDIvol) was 3 mGy with DS-PCD and 11 mGy with DS-EID. On comparison of six patients (three on PCD, three on EID) with similar heart rates, DS-PCD provided iodine maps with well-defined coronaries even at a high heart rate of 86 beats per minute. Meanwhile, there were substantial motion artifacts in iodine maps obtained with DS-EID for patients with similar heart rates. Conclusion: In a cardiac motion phantom, DS-PCD CT can perform accurate material decomposition in high-pitch mode, providing iodine maps with excellent geometric accuracy and robustness to motion at approximately 38% of the dose for similar noise as DS-EID CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1428-1435
Number of pages8
JournalMedical physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • cardiac CT
  • computed tomography
  • dual energy CT
  • iodine quantification
  • material decomposition
  • motion artifact
  • photon counting detector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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