Report from MDCT Symposium: Top five features for future CT target clinical developments

June 17, 2005

Despite impressive strides, multidetector CT scanner technology could still use some tweaking to maximize its utility, according to a speaker at the seventh annual Symposium on Multidetector-Row CT in San Francisco.

Despite impressive strides, multidetector CT scanner technology could still use some tweaking to maximize its utility, according to a speaker at the seventh annual Symposium on Multidetector-Row CT in San Francisco.

"We need more flexibility in handling the imaging data," said Dr. Willi Kalender, a radiology researcher at the University of Erlangen in Germany. "These are not necessarily features that are technology-driven. We have to ask ourselves what is needed clinically."

Tasked to come up with five features still needed to optimize multislice CT, Kalendar first outlined general goals for CT systems: shorter scan times for reliable cardiac imaging and larger z-axis coverage for perfusion measurements in the brain, heart, and lungs.

Achieving those goals means developing a system with multiple sources and detectors, for higher peak x-ray power and shorter scan times, he said. Such a CT system, whether using multiple or segmented detectors, would also be capable of higher spatial resolution for fluoroscopy and radiography.

A third item on the top five wish list would be a system with more tissue parameters to allow radiologists to escape the Hounsfield unit "cage," Kalendar said. His fourth desirable feature was interactively variable isotropic spatial resolution, which would be particularly useful in cardiac imaging.

Last but not least, Kalender would like to see CT established as a low-dose modality.

"With the advent of automatic exposure control, CT already is a low-dose modality, but that is not the widely held perception," he said. "We need to change that."