Photon Counting Computed Tomography-Applications
Ludovica Lofino, Daniele Marin
Radiol Clin North Am . 2023 Nov;61(6):1111-1115. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2023.06.004. Epub 2023 Jul 18.
Photon-counting detector CT (PCCT) is a new technology that has recently emerged as a powerful tool for a more precise, patient-centered imaging. Ever since the FDA approved the first Photon-counting system on September 30, 2021, this new technology raised much interest all over the scientific community and numerous studies have been published in a short period of time. By the end of 2022, the first results of phantom and in-vivo studies started showing the great potential of this new imaging modality, with benefits that range from neuroradiology to abdominal imaging and the promise to push previous limits of both patient size and age as well as image resolution. In this article, we will provide a brief explanation of how commercially available photon-counting detector CTs work and how they differ from energy-integrating detector CT systems. Then we will focus on the different clinical applications of this new technology with an in-depth systematic approach based on the most recent evidence. Because nearly every subspecialty of radiology has had impressive results, we will delve into each of these subspecialties and explain how every single domain can undergo significant transformation. This includes a wide range of possibilities, from the opportunistic screening of many different pathologies to the ability of seeing small structures with unprecedented precision, as well as a new kind of multi-energy imaging that can provide much more information on tissue characteristics, all while maintaining a lighter workflow and post-processing burden compared to what has been observed in the past.