The use of protons or other heavy charged particles instead of x rays in computed tomography (CT) is explored. The results of an experimental implementation of proton CT are presented. High-quality CT reconstructions are obtained at an average dose-reduction factor compared with an EMI 5005 x-ray scanner of 10:1 for a 30-cm-diameter phantom and 3.5:1 for a 20-cm diameter. The spatial resolution is limited by multiple Coulomb scattering to about 3.7mm FHHM. Further studies are planned in which proton and x-ray images of fresh human specimens will be compared. Design considerations indicate that a clinically useful proton CT scanner is eminently feasible.
Keywords: proton computed tomography, proton radiography, low-dose scanning, experimental results, hyperpure germanium detector
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