European Radiology

, Volume 13, Supplement 5, pp 3–13 | Cite as

Multislice CT: technical principles and future trends

  • Mathias ProkopEmail author


Multislice scanning has substantially improved the performance of CT scanners, and thus the relation between scan duration, available scan length, and spatial resolution along the patient axis (z-axis). Near-isotropic imaging of whole organ systems is already possible with 4-slice scanners, but only with 8- to 16-slice scanners can the scan duration be shortened as well. Reconstructing overlapping thin-section data (“secondary raw data set”) provides the basis for image reconstruction in any desired plane. By using thick multiplanar reformation (MPR) techniques, image quality can be improved while keeping patient dose low. Using unfavorable scanning parameters, exposure dose can be substantially increased compared with single-slice scanning, but thick MPR and individual-dose modulation techniques can provide the basis for dose reduction. Low-kVp scanning, in particular, is useful in children and slim adults and is an excellent technique to improve image contrast in CT angiographic studies. Short spiral scans should be avoided with multislice CT since overranging (extra rotations at the beginning and end of the scan, used for data interpolation) can substantially increase patient dose. Future trends include the introduction of thinner detector rows, wider detector arrays, faster tube rotation, and area detectors than can also be used for fluoroscopy. Noise-reduction techniques and individual dose modulation will gain importance with higher isotropic resolution. Functional and perfusion imaging, as well as advanced image processing and computer-aided diagnosis programs, will add to the possibilities of the next generation of multislice CT scanners.


CT technique Multislice CT Radiation dose Multiplanar reformations 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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