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Feb 11, 2022

FDA Credit Photon Counting CT as Breakthrough for Medical Imaging

- By Jacqueline Wheeler

The US Food and Drug Administration have recognised the significance of photon counting X-ray detectors as a step forward for computed tomography with their approval of the Siemens photon counting X-ray CT system.

“Computed tomography is an important medical imaging tool that can aid in diagnosing disease, trauma or abnormality; planning and guiding interventional or therapeutic procedures; and monitoring the effectiveness of certain therapies,” said Laurel Burk, Ph.D., assistant director of the Diagnostic X-ray Systems Team in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Today’s action represents the first major new technology for computed tomography imaging in nearly a decade and underscores the FDA’s efforts to encourage innovation in areas of scientific and diagnostic progress.”

Direct Conversion, as the innovators and developers of photon counting X-ray detector technology, welcome the comments of the FDA and looks forward to seeing the benefits of our work reaching even more patients around the globe.

Photon counting X-ray detectors can improve on current CT systems because they convert X-rays directly into electrical current in a single step, unlike the existing CT technology that requires a two-stage process, using a scintillator layer and measuring the accumulated total energy of the X-rays. Photon counting detectors discriminate every X-ray photon and therefore acquire more detailed information, creating data with higher image sharpness and contrast, as well as providing special information used to improve diagnostic power.