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Spectral Imaging: The latest development in CT technology

Dear readers,

Multidetector technology propelled CT into being one of the most powerful and sensitive techniques in diagnostic imaging, but the innovations do not stop. Spectral CT, the latest development in CT technology, uses two X-ray spectra to discriminate tissues (and other materials) on the basis of their elemental composition. This improved imaging ability now enables radiologists to distinguish, for example, small lesions from metal artifacts.

Spectral CT is discussed in this month’s Focus on by Professor Laghi and colleagues, who provide an overview of the physical principles, describe the data acquisition, and illustrate the various clinical applications, particularly in abdominal imaging. Additionally, through this month’s e-book chapter and the selected journal literature, we review the technological basis of this diagnostic approach and examining its role in multiple clinical settings.

In conclusion, we propose new clinical cases dedicated to the use of CT colonography in the identification of two very challenging conditions.

Suggestions for topics to be covered in future issues of this newsletter are welcome as usual. Please send your ideas to us at

From the team



Spectral CT: the Basics
D. De Santis, D. Caruso, C.N. De Cecco, A. Laghi

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Parakh A, Patino M, Muenzel D et al. Role of rapid kV-switching dual-energy CT in assessment of post-surgical local recurrence of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Abdom Radiol (NY). 2018 Feb;43(2):497-504

Sellerer T, Noël PB, Patino M et al. Dual-energy CT: a phantom comparison of different platforms for abdominal imaging. Eur Radiol. 2018 Feb 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Braun FM, Holzner V, Meinel FG et al. Improved assessment of mediastinal and pulmonary pathologies in combined staging CT examinations using a fast-speed acquisition dual-source CT protocol. Eur Radiol. 2017 Dec;27(12):4931-4940.

Rassouli N, Etesami M, Dhanantwari A, Rajiah P. Detector-based spectral CT with a novel dual-layer technology: principles and applications. Insights Imaging. 2017 Dec;8(6):589-598.