Dual-source photon counting detector CT with a tin filter: a phantom study on iodine quantification performance.
Photon counting detectors (PCD) can provide spectral information to enable iodine quantification through multi-energy imaging but performance is limited by current PCD technology. The purpose of this work is to evaluate iodine quantification in a phantom study using dual-source PCD-CT (DS-PCD-CT), and compare to single-source (SS)-PCD-CT and traditional DS energy integrating detector (EID)-based dual-energy CT.
Materials and Methods:
A multi-energy CT phantom with iodine inserts (0 to 15 mg/ml concentration) was imaged on a research SS-PCD-CT scanner (CTDIvol = 18 mGy). A DS-PCD-CT was emulated by acquiring two sequential scans (CTDIvol = 9 mGy each) using tube potentials: 140 kVp/80 kVp, 140 kVp/100 kVp and 140 kVp/120 kVp. For each kVp, 1 or 2 energy bins were reconstructed to achieve either dual-energy or quadruple energy CT. In addition to these energy combinations, a Sn filter was used for the high tube potential (140 kVp) of each kVp pair. For comparison, the same phantom was also scanned on a commercially available DS-EID-CT with matched radiation dose (CTDIvol = 18 mGy). Material decomposition was performed in image space using a standard least-squares based approach to generate iodine and water-specific images. The root-mean-square-error (RMSE) measured over each insert from the iodine image was used to determine iodine accuracy.
The iodine RMSE from SS-PCD (140 kVp with 2 energy bins) was 2.72 mg/mL. The use of a DS configuration with 1 energy bin per kVp (140 kVp/80 kVp) resulted in a RMSE of 2.29 mg/mL. Two energy bins per kVp further reduced iodine RMSE to 1.83 mg/mL. The addition of a Sn filter to the latter quadruple energy mode reduced RMSE to 1.48 mg/ml. RMSE for DS-PCD-CT (2 energy bins/kVp) decreased by 1.3% (Sn140 kVp/80 kVp) and 15% (Sn140 kVp/100 kVp) as compared to DS-EID-CT.
DS-PCD-CT with a Sn filter improved iodine quantification as compared to both SS-PCD-CT and DS-EID-CT.