Technical principles of dual source CT

Eur J Radiol. 2008 Dec;68(3):362-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.08.013. Epub 2008 Oct 7.


During the past years, multi-detector row CT (MDCT) has evolved into clinical practice with a rapid increase of the number of detector slices. Today's 64 slice CT systems allow whole-body examinations with sub-millimeter resolution in short scan times. As an alternative to adding even more detector slices, we describe the system concept and design of a CT scanner with two X-ray tubes and two detectors (mounted on a CT gantry with a mechanical offset of 90 degrees) that has the potential to overcome limitations of conventional MDCT systems, such as temporal resolution for cardiac imaging. A dual source CT (DSCT) scanner provides temporal resolution equivalent to a quarter of the gantry rotation time, independent of the patient's heart rate (83 ms at 0.33 s rotation time). In addition to the benefits for cardiac scanning, it allows to go beyond conventional CT imaging by obtaining dual energy information if the two tubes are operated at different voltages. Furthermore, we discuss how both acquisition systems can be used to add the power reserve of two X-ray tubes for long scan ranges and obese patients. Finally, future advances of DSCT are highlighted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / instrumentation*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / trends