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Special Edition: Low-dose CT, December 2017

Special Issue Editors: J. Liang, P. La Riviere, G. El Fakhri, S. J. Glick, J. H. Siewerdsen
IEEE Trans Med Imaging, vol. 36, issue 12, December 2017

Computed Tomography (CT), introduced in 1972, is among the most significant development in medical imaging since the discovery of X-rays in 1895.  With the advent of helical and multi-detector-row CT scanners in the 1990s, along with innovations in cone-beam CT in many forms, CT gained unmatched speed and adaptability for volumetric imaging, leading to widespread use for diagnostic imaging, emergency examination, image-guided interventions, treatment planning, and monitoring of therapeutic response.  In addition, the innovation of CT computationally reconstructing tomographic images from projection data significantly influenced the development of other medical imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging, single photon and positron emission tomography, and ultrasound tomography.

As the use of CT has grown, so has concern about the associated radiation dose, and while the biological risk associated with low (mSv) levels of radiation is not established, the concern is sufficient to motivate major efforts from academic, government and industrial researchers to develop methodologies for producing clinically useful images at the lowest doses possible, hereafter called low mSv or low-dose CT (LdCT).  In the past decades, great efforts have been devoted to design dose-optimized CT detection systems and develop dose-optimized CT image reconstruction algorithms.  The ultimate objective of LdCT is to achieve patient-specific and clinical task-dependent CT imaging for personal precision medicine.  For more detailed information about the past achievements and future challenges for LdCT, please read the entire December issue.