Canon Medical installs its third photon-counting CT

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | April 26, 2024
CT X-Ray
Canon Medical and Hiroshima University in Japan have teamed up to conduct clinical research on the company’s photon-counting CT (PCCT) system. This marks the third installation of the system worldwide.

The research team plans to assess how useful the technology is in the clinical setting, improve the diagnostic information it generates and flesh out its imaging protocols. Canon's CT group told HCB News the ultimate goal of this clinical research is to “maximize the functionality of PCCT from a basic level to clinical applications.”

Current CT technology uses scintillating detectors that convert X-ray photons into visible light and then convert that into electrical signals to create an image. PCCT cuts out that first step by directly recording photon energies as electric signals.
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The scintillating detectors combine those signals, meaning that information on each individual photon cannot be obtained, and thus leads to electronic noise and artifacts. PCCT doesn’t have that issue because it’s able to count each photon and filter out the low-energy ones, which results in higher-resolution images.

Due to its design, PCCT also lends to improvements in spatial resolution, allowing for lower radiation doses, which is especially important for pediatric imaging.

“Generally, photon-counting CT is considered to have the potential to replace conventional CT,” Canon’s CT group told HCB News. “Collaboration with healthcare professionals is essential for the widespread use of photon-counting CT, and we are exploring its potential through clinical evaluations.”

Canon’s first system was installed at the National Cancer Center Japan (NCC) last April. Dr. Tatsushi Kobayashi of NCC commented at that time that the technology’s high-precision imaging and multi-energy analysis are expected to lead to new diagnostic imaging techniques and drug evaluation methods.

The second installation took place this January at Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands. The team there plans to explore its spectral imaging capabilities and combine it with techniques like subtraction or perfusion imaging to test out functional imaging.

The latest research on Canon’s PCCT will be discussed at the International Technical Exhibition of Medical Imaging 2024, the 83rd Congress of the Japan Radiological Society, and the 80th Congress of the Japanese Society of Radiological Technology this week in Yokohama.

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