Photon-counting computed tomography of lanthanide contrast agents with a high-flux 330-μm-pitch cadmium zinc telluride detector in a table-top system.J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2020 May; 7(3):033502.JM
Purpose: We present photon-counting computed tomography (PCCT) imaging of contrast agent triplets similar in atomic number ( Z ) achieved with a high-flux cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) detector. Approach: The table-top PCCT imaging system included a 330-μm -pitch CZT detector of size 8 mm×24 mm2 capable of using six energy bins. Four 3D-printed 3-cm-diameter phantoms each contained seven 6-mm-diameter vials with water and low and high concentration solutions of various contrast agents. Lanthanum ( Z=57 ), gadolinium (Gd) ( Z=64 ), and lutetium ( Z=71 ) were imaged together and so were iodine ( Z=53 ), Gd, and holmium ( Z=67 ). Each phantom was imaged with 1-mm aluminum-filtered 120-kVp cone beam x rays to produce six energy-binned computed tomography (CT) images.
Results:K -edge images were reconstructed using a weighted sum of six CT images, which distinguished each contrast agent with a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of <0.29% and 0.51% for the 0.5% and 5% concentrations, respectively. Minimal cross-contamination in each K -edge image was seen, with RMSE values <0.27% in vials with no contrast.
Conclusion: This is the first preliminary demonstration of simultaneously imaging three similar Z contrast agents with a difference in Z as low as 3.