The Clinical Center http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov at NIH is examining the use of a new generation “Photon-Counting Detector CT Scanner” to be used in a clinical setting. The prototype technology is expected to replicate the image quality of conventional CT scanning but may also provide healthcare specialists with an enhanced look inside the body by using multi-energy imaging.
Over the next five years, David Bluemke, MD, PhD Chief of the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences and his team will continue to develop scan protocols and image processing algorithms. This hopefully will improve screening, imaging, and treatment planning for medical conditions like cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The goal is for doctors to be able to identify materials in the body with anatomic precision. A dye or contrast is given to a patient so that researchers can see a selected area in more detail. Different materials in the body can be displayed in different colors for faster diagnosis and precision.
In an agreement with the manufacturer Siemens Healthcare along with researchers in the CT technology field, the Clinical Center is testing this technology to help the healthcare field optimize the scanner for clinical use in the U.S and worldwide.
In the private sector, Hitachi Medical Corporation www.hitachil.com and Redlen Technologies Inc., www.redlen.com, a Canadian technology company, have agreed to jointly develop a direct conversion semiconductor x-ray detector module required for new Photon Counting Computed Tomography (PCCT).
The companies will work together to develop a new multi-energy PCCT semiconductor detector module. PCCT systems offer the potential for a breakthrough advance in CT diagnostic imaging performance through new capabilities. The new capabilities include material discrimination, higher imaging resolution, the addition of functional imaging, and a reduction in radiation doses