Optimization of eight-element multi-detector row helical CT technology for evaluation of the abdomen.
PURPOSE: To evaluate protocols for abdominal imaging with an eight-element multi-detector row computed tomographic (CT) scanner. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An eight-element helical CT scanner was used to acquire data in two phantoms with four-element (pitch, 0.75 and 1.5; section thickness, 1.25, 2.5, and 5.0 mm) and eight-element (pitch, 0.625, 0.875, 1.35 and 1.675; section thickness, 1.25 and 2.5 mm) protocols. One phantom was used for low-contrast detectability and streak artifact; the other, for high-contrast performance. Protocols included near constant radiation dose (140 kV and varied tube current, confirmed by using the above protocols to scan a dedicated radiation dose phantom). Data were analyzed by three blinded readers for streak artifacts, contrast-to-noise ratio, and z-axis resolution (contrast-transfer function). Statistical analysis included studentized range tests. RESULTS: Contrast-to-noise ratios for four and eight elements were not consistently different. Qualitative evaluation for streak artifacts revealed fewer artifacts for all eight-element 1.25-mm-thick section protocols, as compared with eight-element 2.5-mm protocols. All eight-element 2.5-mm protocols except that with 27.0 mm per rotation had fewer streak artifacts than did four-element protocols (P =.02-.04). Contrast-transfer functions along the z axis for eight-element protocols were better than those for four-element protocols, demonstrating improved z-axis resolution (P <.05). CONCLUSION: Images acquired at eight sections per rotation demonstrated no sacrifice of contrast-to-noise ratio, improved z-axis resolution, and fewer streak artifacts, even when radiation dose was similar to that for four-element CT.
Gupta, AK; Nelson, RC; Johnson, GA; Paulson, EK; Delong, DM; Yoshizumi, TT
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