TU-EF-204-04: Feasibility Study of a Novel Stationary Spectral CT Scanner




To evaluate a cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) detector module and to develop a proof-of-concept bench-top system to examine the concept and feasibility of a stationary spectral scanner that would consist of a CZT detector ring and a distributed source for rotationless imaging.


The bench-top system employs a double-rotation set-up with two concentric but independent rotating stages, one for turning the object at sparse angles to mimic the imaging from a sequentially activated source distributed on a ring, while the other for translating the detector module to simulate a projection arc along a virtual detector ring. A source of 30-degree fan is used in the set-up, and the ring is designed to be 85cm in diameter in order to provide a 22cm field-of-view that is large enough for an average human head. The CZT detector module has 16×16 0.5mm pixels and eight global energy thresholds, and is attached to an experimental data acquisition board from the same vendor (Nova R&D). Its pixel gain is first calibrated using radioisotope Tc-99m to align the photo-peaks. Count rate performance is assessed using the X-ray source. Air and offset corrections are done prior to each CT scan. A 10cm acrylic phantom with 5 different inserts is imaged at 100kVp, 2mA, with an effective exposure window of 150ms per projection. Reconstruction is done using a total variation-type iterative method.


The detector module exhibited large gain variations among pixels. Average count rate was over 1Mcps per pixel. Parallax effect was observed along the arcs but was corrected. Reconstructed images from two energy bins demonstrated good contrast, spatial resolution and image uniformity, with little artifacts.


The CZT detector tested is suitable for imaging relatively small objects. A stationary spectral CT appears feasible should we have enough buttable modules and a distributed source.

This work was supported by Ministry of Science and Technology of China through grants 11YQ040082 and 2012BAI13B04.