Overcoming detector limitations of x-ray photon counting for preclinical microcomputed tomography.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Spectral computed tomography (CT) using photon counting detectors (PCDs) can provide accurate tissue composition measurements by utilizing the energy dependence of x-ray attenuation in different materials. PCDs are especially suited for K-edge imaging, revealing the spatial distribution of select imaging probes through quantitative material decomposition. We report on a prototype spectral micro-CT system with a CZT-based PCD (DxRay, Inc.) that has 16 × 16    pixels of 0.5 × 0.5    mm 2 , a thickness of 3 mm, and four energy thresholds. Due to the PCD's limited size ( 8 × 8    mm 2 ), our system uses a translate-rotate projection acquisition strategy to cover a field of view relevant for preclinical imaging ( ∼ 4.5    cm ). Projection corrections were implemented to minimize artifacts associated with dead pixels and projection stitching. A sophisticated iterative algorithm was used to reconstruct both phantom and ex vivo mouse data. To achieve preclinically relevant spatial resolution, we trained a convolutional neural network to perform pan-sharpening between low-resolution PCD data ( 247 - μ m voxels) and high-resolution energy-integrating detector data ( 82 - μ m voxels), recovering a high-resolution estimate of the spectral contrast suitable for material decomposition. Long-term, preclinical spectral CT systems such as ours could serve in the developing field of theranostics (therapy and diagnostics) for cancer research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Holbrook, M; Clark, DP; Badea, CT

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 011004 -

PubMed ID

  • 30840718

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6107492

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2329-4302

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1117/1.JMI.6.1.011004


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States