The introduction in 1998 of multi-detector row computed tomography (CT) by the major CT vendors was a milestone with regard to increased scan speed, improved z-axis spatial resolution, and better utilization of the available x-ray power. In this review, the general technical principles of multi-detector row CT are reviewed as they apply to the established four- and eight-section systems, the most recent 16-section scanners, and future generations of multi-detector row CT systems. Clinical examples are used to demonstrate both the potential and the limitations of the different scanner types. When necessary, standard single-section CT is referred to as a common basis and starting point for further developments. Another focus is the increasingly important topic of patient radiation exposure, successful dose management, and strategies for dose reduction. Finally, the evolutionary steps from traditional single-section spiral image-reconstruction algorithms to the most recent approaches toward multisection spiral reconstruction are traced.
Copyright RSNA, 2005