Photon starvation

Photon starvation is one source of streak artifact which may occur in CT. It is seen in high attenuation areas, particularly behind metal implants. Because of high attenuation, insufficient photons reach the detector. During the reconstruction process, the noise is greatly magnified in these areas leading to characteristic streaks in the image.

In some applications, namely low dose CT protocols, the increased noise due to photon starvation is normally encountered as a trade-off between low patient radiation dose and acceptable image quality. The artifact can be reduced by automatic tube current modulation (increased mAs) and adaptive filtration. Use of iterative reconstruction techniques can also significantly reduce image noise caused by this artifact 2

Imaging technology

Article information

rID: 57896
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: increased noise due to photon starvation (low dose protocol)
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  • Figure 2: due to morbid obesity
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