Detector-based spectral computed tomography is a novel dual-energy CT technology that employs two layers of detectors to simultaneously collect low- and high-energy data in all patients using standard CT protocols. In addition to the conventional polyenergetic images created for each patient, projection-space decomposition is used to generate spectral basis images (photoelectric and Compton scatter) for creating multiple spectral images, including material decomposition (iodine-only, virtual non-contrast, effective atomic number) and virtual monoenergetic images, on-demand according to clinical need. These images are useful in multiple clinical applications, including- improving vascular contrast, improving lesion conspicuity, decreasing artefacts, material characterisation and reducing radiation dose. In this article, we discuss the principles of this novel technology and also illustrate the common clinical applications. Teaching points • The top and bottom layers of dual-layer CT absorb low- and high-energy photons, respectively. • Multiple spectral images are generated by projection-space decomposition. • Spectral images can be generated in all patients scanned in this scanner.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging