ABSTRACT: The broad introduction of multi-slice CT by all major vendors in 1998 was a milestone with regard to extended volume coverage, improved axial resolution and better utilization of the tube output. New clinical applications such as CT-examinations of the heart and the coronary arteries became possible. Despite all promising advances, some limitations remain for 4-slice CT systems. They come close to isotropic resolution, but do not fully reach it in routine clinical applications. Cardiac CT-examinations require careful patient selection. The new generation of multi-slice CT-systems offer simultaneous acquisition of up to 16 sub-millimeter slices and improved temporal resolution for cardiac examinations by means of reduced gantry rotation time (0.4 s). In this overview article we present the basic technical principles and potential applications of 16-slice technology for the example of a 16-slice CT-system (SOMATOM Sensation 16, Siemens AG, Forchheim). We discuss detector design and dose efficiency as well as spiral scan- and reconstruction techniques. At comparable slice thickness, 16-slice CT-systems have a better dose efficiency than 4-slice CT-systems. The cone-beam geometry of the measurement rays requires new reconstruction approaches, an example is the adaptive multiple plane reconstruction, AMPR. First clinical experience indicates that sub-millimeter slice width in combination with reduced gantry rotation-time improves the clinical stability of cardiac examinations and expands the spectrum of patients accessible to cardiac CT. 16-slice CT-systems have the potential to cover even large scan ranges with sub-millimeter slices at considerably reduced examination times, thus approaching the goal of routine isotropic imaging.
Der Radiologe 08/2005; 45(7):608-17. · 0.61 Impact Factor