X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a widely used diagnostic tool to visualize the interior of the human body. However, the exposure dose of conventional CT in a single scan is large, typically 10 mSv, and therefore, it is necessary to find ways to reduce the radiation dose. Furthermore, conventional CT does not contain the energy information of individual X-ray photons because the X-ray signals are read out as an integrated form. This causes misidentification of materials. To resolve this issue, we propose a novel photon counting CT (PC-CT) system consisting of multi-pixel photon counters (MPPCs) coupled with high speed scintillators. The system has a 64-channel MPPC array that improves energy information and wide-area imaging. By fine energy adjustment and increasing the number of energy thresholds to six, which were newly implemented in the 64-channel PC-CT system, we succeeded in accurately estimating the concentrations of contrast agents such as iodine and gadolinium. Moreover, for mixed phantoms of iodine and gadolinium, we demonstrate discrimination between them, and estimate the concentrations individually, which cannot be done by conventional CTs. This shows great potential in expanding the applications of X-ray CTs.
|Journal||Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment|
|Publication status||Published - 2020 Dec 21|
- K-edge imaging
- Multipixel photon counter
- Photon counting computed tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics