Spectral CT using a fine grid structure and varying x-ray incidence angle

J. Webster Stayman, Matthew Tivnan, Wenying Wang, Nadav Shapira, Grace J. Gang, Peter B. Noël

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Interest in spectral computed tomography (CT) for diagnostics and therapy evaluation has been growing. Data acquisitions with distinct spectral sensitivities provide the ability to discriminate multiple materials, quantitative density estimates, and reduced artifacts due to energy dependencies. We introduce a novel spectral CT concept that includes a fine-pitch grid structure for prefiltration of the x-ray beam. Methods: We develop physical models for grid designs and illustrate the basic operating principles wherein small angulations of the incident x rays results significant filtration and spectral shaping of the beam. We fabricate a prototype grid with tungsten lamellae. We compare x-ray spectra induced by this filter as a function of incidence angle in both simulation students and in physical measurements. The grid is also integrated onto a CT test bench where we scanned an iodinated phantom with clinically relevant concentrations (5, 10, 20, and 50 mgI/mL) to demonstrate the ability to perform spectral CT acquisitions and material decomposition. Results: X-ray spectrometer measurements reveal diverse and controllable spectral shaping with small angle changes that are in agreement with simulation studies. Critical angles where the characteristics of the induced spectrum changes dramatically are identified. Reconstructions of projection data for two angulations separated by 2° was reconstructed and material decomposition into iodine and water images shows good agreement with the known iodine concentrations. Conclusions: This work demonstrates the feasibility of the grid-based approach to enable spectral CT data acquisitions and accurate material decompositions. On-going and future studies will investigate the potential of this novel concept as a relatively simple upgrade to standard energy-integrating CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6412-6420
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • X-ray filters
  • contrast-enhanced CT
  • dual-energy CT
  • material decomposition
  • quantitative CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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