Proliferation of vasa vasorum, the microvasculature within artery walls, is an early marker of atherosclerosis. Detection of subtle changes in the spatial density of vasa vasorum using contrast-enhanced CT is challenging due to the limited spatial resolution and blooming effects. We report a forward model-based blooming correction technique to improve vasa vasorum detection in a porcine model imaged using an ultra-high resolution photon-counting detector CT. Six weeks preceding the CT study the animal received autologous blood injections in its left carotid artery to stimulate vasa vasorum proliferation within the arterial wall (right carotid served as control). The forward model predicted radial extent and magnitude of the luminal blooming affecting the wall signal by using prior data acquired with a vessel phantom of known dimensions. The predicted contamination from blooming was then subtracted from the original wall signal measurement to recover the obscured vasa vasorum signal. Attenuation measurements made on a testing vessel phantom before and after blooming corrections revealed a reduction in mean squared error by ~99.9% when compared to the ground truth. Applying corrections to contrast-enhanced carotid arteries from in vivo scan data demonstrated consistent reductions of blooming contamination within the vessel walls. An unpaired student t-test applied to measurements from the uncorrected porcine scan data revealed no significant difference between the vessel walls (p=0.26). However, after employing blooming correction, the mean enhancement was significantly greater in the injured vessel wall (p=0.0006).