Dark-field computed tomography
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At the time the article was created Bálint Botz had no recorded disclosures.View Bálint Botz's current disclosures
At the time the article was last revised Daniel J Bell had no financial relationships to ineligible companies to disclose.View Daniel J Bell's current disclosures
Dark-field computed tomography is an emerging medical imaging technology. While conventional CT measures differential attenuation properties of the various tissues, dark-field CT utilizes their small-angle scattering (dark field) characteristics.
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Instead of attenuation of x-ray photons, dark-field CT measures the complementary small-angle scattering and refraction of x-ray interacting with tissues 1. The main benefit of the technology is that differences in the angular deviation (phase contrast) of the incident x-ray beam interacting with various biological tissues is typically greater than their attenuation difference, thus resulting in higher intrinsic contrast 2.
Potential future applications and benefits
As of 2021 dark-field CT is not in clinical use.
In preclinical animal models its potential has been shown in diagnosing and staging a variety of lung diseases (COPD, fibrosis, inflammation, tumors etc.) but due to various technical challenges upscaling of the technology has proved to be difficult. Recently however it has been shown that dark-field imaging is also feasible by relatively minor modifications in existing state of the art clinical CT systems 1.
- 1. Manuel Viermetz, Nikolai Gustschin, Clemens Schmid et al. Dark-Field Computed Tomography Reaches the Human Scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2022;119(8):e2118799119. doi:10.1073/pnas.2118799119 - Pubmed
- 2. Ando M, Sunaguchi N, Shimao D et al. Dark-Field Imaging: Recent Developments and Potential Clinical Applications. Phys Med. 2016;32(12):1801-12. doi:10.1016/j.ejmp.2016.11.103 - Pubmed