Point-of-care imaging is highly desired in otolaryngologic clinics for the diagnosis of ear, nose and throat (ENT) diseases including cancers. Due to limited image quality, current cone beam CT (CBCT) products act not as a substitute but rather as a complement to diagnostic Multi-slice CT (MSCT) in maxillofacial and ENT imaging. The emerging multi-source x-ray source technology suggests new designs of CT systems that may have faster imaging speed, improved image quality, reduced radiation exposure and compact geometries. Tetrahedron Beam Computed Tomography (TBCT) is a compact volumetric CT based on linear array multi- pixel x-ray sources which can produce diagnostic-quality volumetric images but in a much more compact geometry than CBCT. Through this project, we will develop and validate ENT-TBCT through the two specific aims: 1) To develop a ENT-TBCT benchtop system with an MPTEX source and linear x-ray detector array; 2) To evaluate and characterize TBCT via phantom and animal cadaver imaging. In future Phase II study, we plan to develop a clinical prototype system and perform comparative imaging studies in ENT clinics. We expect the novel office-based ENT-TBCT will become a highly effective point-of-care diagnostic imaging modality for otolaryngologic clinics, improve the quality and efficacy by supporting prompt diagnosis and treatment of ENT cancers and other diseases.
CT is an indispensable, first-line diagnostic imaging modality for cancers and other diseases in ear-nose- and-throat (ENT) clinics. Point-of-care imaging is crucially important in ENT clinics. During the last decade, enabled by x-ray flat panel imager technology, cone-beam CT (CBCT) has become an important imaging modality for image guided radiotherapy and intervention. Clinical usefulness of CBCT in diagnostic imaging, however, is very limited due to its inferior image quality, making CBCT incompetent in diagnosis of soft tissue diseases. In this project, we will develop a novel Tetrahedron Beam Computed Tomography (TBCT) system based on multi-pixel x-ray source technology. Unlike current CBCT, which employs wider detectors to increase axial coverage, TBCT revolutionarily employs a linear x-ray source array to achieve the same coverage, thus fundamentally eliminates the inherent problems of CBCT. TBCT is capable of producing diagnostic quality images with excellent soft tissue contrast thanks for its scatter rejection scanning geometry. Enabled by the novel multi-pixel x-ray source, the novel ENT-TBCT is expected to produce unprecedented high image quality and low x-ray exposure, transform the practice in ENT clinics and greatly improve the efficacy and quality.