Is Photon-Counting Detector CT More Effective than Conventional CT? - European Medical Journal

Is Photon-Counting Detector CT More Effective than Conventional CT?

1 Mins

NOVEL CT technology is more performant than the conventional CT in showing subtle post-COVID-19 lung damage in patients with persistent COVID-19 symptoms. Photon-counting detector (PCD) CT, which has emerged in the last decade, converts X-ray photons into an electric signal. This significantly reduces the loss of energy and signal loss, as it avoids the intermediate step of conversion that is needed in conventional CT scanners.

PCD CT has previously been shown to be advantageous in other radiology fields such as cardiovascular and head-and-neck imaging; however, a new study has compared its potential to the conventional CT in people with persistent symptoms of COVID-19. Researchers compared the conventional CT with PCD CT in 20 adults who had one or more persistent symptoms related to COVID-19, including cough and fatigue. The study showed that conventional CT identified lung abnormalities, most commonly bronchiolectasis, in 75% of participants; however, PCD CT revealed additional abnormalities in half of the patients. As conventional CT can miss subtle abnormalities that indicate early-stage fibrosis, which can be caused by COVID-19, the possibility to detect subtle changes would be beneficial to patients. Furthermore, PCD CT has shown potential in reducing artifact and radiation dose.

Author Benedikt Heidinger from the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-Guided Therapy at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, stated: “PCD CT may help to identify earlier and more effectively post-COVID patients at risk for developing lung fibrosis, and, hopefully, allow for timely treatment allocation, such as pulmonary rehabilitation, in the future.” This would lead to better outcomes for those patients. Future research will allow the study of other outcomes such as pulmonary function testing, quality of life, and histology.


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