High-Resolution Chest Computed Tomography Imaging of the Lungs: Impact of 1024 Matrix Reconstruction and Photon-Counting Detector Computed Tomography

David J. Bartlett, Chi Wan Koo, Brian Jack Bartholmai, Kishore Rajendran, Jayse M. Weaver, Ahmed F. Halaweish, Shuai Leng, Cynthia H McCollough, Joel Garland Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate if a high-resolution photon-counting detector computed tomography (PCD-CT) system with a 1024×1024 matrix reconstruction can improve the visualization of fine structures in the lungs compared with conventional high-resolution CT (HRCT). Materials and Methods Twenty-two adult patients referred for clinical chest HRCT (mean CTDI vol, 13.58 mGy) underwent additional dose-matched PCD-CT (mean volume CT dose index, 13.37 mGy) after written informed consent. Computed tomography images were reconstructed at a slice thickness of 1.5 mm and an image increment of 1 mm with our routine HRCT reconstruction kernels (B46 and Bv49) at 512 and 1024 matrix sizes for conventional energy-integrating detector (EID) CT scans. For PCD-CT, routine B46 kernel and an additional sharp kernel (Q65, unavailable for EID) images were reconstructed at 1024 matrix size. Two thoracic radiologists compared images from EID and PCD-CT noting the highest level bronchus clearly identified in each lobe of the right lung, and rating bronchial wall conspicuity of third- and fourth-order bronchi. Lung nodules were also compared with the B46/EID/512 images using a 5-point Likert scale. Statistical analysis was performed using a Wilcoxon signed rank test with a P < 0.05 considered significant. Results Compared with B46/EID/512, readers detected higher-order bronchi using B46/PCD/1024 and Q65/PCD/1024 images for every lung lobe (P < 0.0015), but in only the right middle lobe for B46/EID/1024 (P = 0.007). Readers were able to better identify bronchial walls of the third- and fourth-order bronchi better using the Q65/PCD/1024 images (mean Likert scores of 1.1 and 1.5), which was significantly higher compared with B46/EID/1024 or B46/PCD/1024 images (mean difference, 0.8; P < 0.0001). The Q65/PCD/1024 images had a mean nodule score of 1 ± 1.3 for reader 1, and -0.1 (0.9) for reader 2, with one reader having improved nodule evaluation scores for both PCD kernels (P < 0.001), and the other reader not identifying any increased advantage over B46/EID/1024 (P = 1.0). Conclusions High-resolution lung PCD-CT with 1024 image matrix reconstruction increased radiologists' ability to visualize higher-order bronchi and bronchial walls without compromising nodule evaluation compared with current chest CT, creating an opportunity for radiologists to better evaluate airway pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • bronchi
  • emphysema
  • image reconstruction
  • interstitial lung diseases
  • lung nodules
  • photon-counting detector
  • x-ray computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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