Initial results from a prototype whole-body photon-counting computed tomography system

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

39 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2015
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
EditorsChristoph Hoeschen, Despina Kontos, Christoph Hoeschen
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415025
StatePublished - 2015
EventMedical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 22 2015Feb 25 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Photon-counting CT
  • Research prototype
  • System evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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