Photon Counting Computed Tomography: A Breakthrough in Imaging Technology

Greg Martin*

Photon Counting Computed Tomography: A Breakthrough in Imaging Technology.

Photon counting computed tomography is an emerging imaging technology that has been under development for several years. There are numerous benefits and applications of photon-counting computed tomography machines that have created a significant buzz in the healthcare community.

Compared to traditional CT, PCCT technology has a superior spectral and spatial resolution, resulting in a stronger image
resolution. It is also much faster than traditional CT and it uses lower radiation. Patient size and even movement are not a factor when worrying about motion artifacts or blurriness.

I will begin by explaining the foundation of the technology behind this breakthrough in imaging. A CT machine is a medical imaging device that uses a series of X-rays and a detector to produce detailed images of the internal structures of the body, generating a more detailed view than a traditional X-ray.

Traditional CT machines utilize an energy-integrated-detector. Within these detectors, the X-ray illuminates a scintillator layer, emitting light impulses, that are measured by a photodiode. These light impulses are then converted into an electrical signal that we process into a CT image.

When the light pulses are emitted, “dead spaces” arise in the detector due to its physical limitations and the fact that we cannot keep up with the measurement of individual photons coming in before the next pulse. With a traditional CT, we take all 30,000 photons and measure them collectively as a whole.

Radiol Open J. 2023; 7(1): 1-3. doi: 10.17140/ROJ-7-138