Image Noise and Radiation Dose Reduction in Spectral (multi-energy)

Technology #2010-115

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Shuai Leng Ph.D.
Lifeng Yu Ph.D.
Cynthia H. McCollough Ph.D.
Joel G. Fletcher M.D.
Managed By
Barb J. Keller
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US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending
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Photon counting detector technology is being actively adopted for commercial CT. One compelling reason is the advantages that it brings for spectral imaging (multi-energy CT) which allows material characterization using energy information from the detected x-rays. The ability to identify material composition regardless of material density (e.g. distinguishing iodine from bone even though they have the same CT number) has already resulted in many new clinical CT applications. However, image noise (and hence radiation dose) is a major concern as x-ray photons are distributed into multiple energy bins, resulting in a reduced number of photons in each energy bin. Therefore, the intrinsic trade-off between photon numbers in each bin (consequently image noise) and energy bin size and/or number of energy bins (consequently material differentiation capability) may result in either too noisy images, or too high radiation dose (if the same image noise is kept as in single energy scans). This invention breaks this trade off and reduces noise and/or radiation dose in spectral CT.