New CT technology paired with artificial intelligence (AI)-based noise reduction offers superior detection of bone disease associated with multiple myeloma at lower radiation doses than conventional CT, according to a new study published in Radiology, a journal of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
The new technology, known as photon-counting detector CT, debuted in the clinic in 2021 after decades of development. By directly converting individual x-ray photons into an electric signal, photon-counting detector CT can decrease the detector pixel size and improve the image’s spatial resolution.
“Additionally, photon-counting CT has demonstrated much better dose efficiency than standard CT, which allows for acquisition of ultra-high-resolution images of large areas of the body,” said study lead author Francis Baffour, M.D., diagnostic radiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
This potential for improved image quality in whole-body low-dose scans inspired Dr. Baffour and colleagues to study the technology in people with multiple myeloma, a disease that forms in a type of white blood cell found in the bone marrow called a plasma cell. Bone disease characterized by areas of bone destruction known as lytic lesions is found in approximately 80% of multiple myeloma patients.
The International Myeloma Working Group recommends low-dose, whole-body CT to evaluate associated bone disease. Much less is known about photon-counting detector CT is this setting.
Dr. Baffour and colleagues compared photon-counting detector CT with conventional low-dose, whole-body CT in 27 multiple myeloma patients, median age 68 years. The patients underwent whole-body scans with both types of CT and two radiologists compared the images.
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