Advancements in CT
With increasing image quality, speed and accuracy of multi detector CT more software are developed to study functionality of organ
CT has evolved to become a key pillar of radiology practice. The global demand for CT scanners is projected to increase at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2019 to 2022 to reach a value of USD 6429.8 million by 2022 This is due to factors like including increasing preference for minimally invasive diagnostic procedures, improved healthcare infrastructure in various emerging economies, recent product improvements including the advent of portable CT scanners, and escalating geriatric population who require bedside imaging and home healthcare.
The Indian CT scanners market in 2018 was estimated at Rs 1042.49 crore, translating to 755 units in quantity terms. The 1–16 slices category dominated with a 38% market share. The other popular categories were 17–63 slices and 128–160 slices at a 23% share each. What are the drivers to the growth of demand of CT in India? As there is increase in prevalence in the society of various diseases such as malignancy, orthopaedic trauma and cardiovascular disease, the demand of CT scan will remain high. Due to its speed, consistency and accuracy, CT scan plays a vital role in the line of treatment especially with increasing number of traumas, vascular intervention, paediatric and cardiac imaging.
With increasing image quality, speed and accuracy of multi detector CT, more softwares are developed to study functionality of organ. CT perfusion study done on multi detector CT is more robust and will fuel in the growth of demand of CT.
CT technology has evolved from first-generation to advancements like cone beam CT, multidetector CT, higher slice system, new detector technology, spectral CT imaging, data integration, dual source scanner, dual energy, etc. Says Dr Rahul J Vakharia, consultant radiologist, (MRI/ CT) & coordinator, Wockhardt Hospital Mumbai Central, Mumbai, “The advent of third generation CT scanner typically having higher number of detectors give high resolution images and resultant increase in the pickup of the abnormality. Multi detector CT scan helps in reducing the radiation burden to the patient especially those requiring multiple studies. Multi detector CT scanner reduces the acquisition time and improves the patient compliance during the scan and reduces waiting period. Multi detector volume CT scanner help in precisely guiding the transplant surgeon for decision making and surgical road maps.”
The spectral detector systems have added new dimension to CT imaging – giving more functional information out of the same CT without extra dose and advancements in patient dose optimisation/ iterative reconstruction technologies have led to reduction in dose by 70-82% over the past few years.
New and improved software provides excellent reconstruction and adding new dimension for image interpretation. Al software will further aid and help reduce reporting time.
The advancements have benefitted in more ways than one. Higher simultaneous 0.5 mm slice and give isotopic volumetric data with better resolution, thin slice volume data reconstruction, post processing and advanced visualisation algorithms allow extraction of specific body parts. The advancements also allow to understand complex anatomy/ variants and diseases.
According to Dr Rahul, with the fourth generation CT scanners, the radiation dose and contrast requirement will further reduce. It will provide near isotropic images. In the coming years, radiologists expect to see faster, more automated, and easier-to-use scanners. The technology will transition from a good interpretation tool to a machine with more quantification and a speedy and direct diagnosis.
Machine learning has the potential to vastly advance medical imaging, particularly CT scanning, by reducing radiation exposure and improving image quality. Low-dose CT imaging techniques have been a significant focus over the past several years in an effort to alleviate concerns about patient exposure to X-ray radiation associated with widely used CT scans.