Philips has launched a brand new true spectral CT scanner, the IQon Elite Spectral CT. Spectral CT provides a more nuanced look at body tissues, which reveals some information about the composition of anatomy and not only its structure. The different frequencies of X-rays in a spectral CT can be compared to different colors of light, which are produced by different frequencies of visible radiation. In a spectral CT, things like iodine show up at lower energies, while the visual impact of metal can be reduced when viewing the higher energy data.
The new device, developed in a partnership with radiologists at Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel, has a dual energy “NanoPanel” prism detector with an efficient yttrium-based scintillator. The technology is able to separate the different energy X-rays emitted simultaneously by a single tube source. This allows for concurrent generation of conventional and spectral CT images that are perfectly aligned with each other. For comparison, other spectral CTs take turns emitting X-rays at different energies, which also results in having to make a choice of whether to use conventional or spectral before beginning an exam.
With the IQon Elite Spectral CT, every scan is both a spectral and conventional scan and the imaging from both is available following an exam. No more radiation is used than in a conventional comparable scan and the workflow doesn’t change either, making the introduction of the technology easy on the staff.
Post exam software allows radiologists to analyze the conventional CT images and then, as necessary, to slide through different energy levels, from 40 to 200 keV, to view the same anatomy in a “different light”. There’s also a “magic glass” feature that allows the radiologist to move the mouse across a region so that the energy level around the mouse is at one number while everything around it is at another, helping to spot details that may otherwise be missed.
Here’s a video from Philips explaining how its spectral CT technology works: