European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 351–359 | Cite as

Initial experience with single-source dual-energy CT abdominal angiography and comparison with single-energy CT angiography: image quality, enhancement, diagnosis and radiation dose

  • Daniella F. Pinho
  • Naveen M. Kulkarni
  • Arun Krishnaraj
  • Sanjeeva P. Kalva
  • Dushyant V. Sahani
Computed Tomography



To assess image quality of virtual monochromatic spectral (VMS) images, compared to single-energy (SE) CT, and to evaluate the feasibility of material density imaging in abdominal aortic disease.


In this retrospective study, single-source (ss) dual-energy (DE) CT of the aorto-iliac system in 35 patients (32 male, mean age 76.5 years) was compared to SE-CT. By post-processing the data from ssDECT, VMS images at different energies and material density water (WD) images were generated. The image quality parameters were rated on 5-point scales. The aorto-iliac attenuation and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were recorded. Quality of WD images was compared to true unenhanced (TNE) images. Radiation dose was recorded and statistical analysis was performed.


Image quality and noise were better at 70 keV (P < 0.01). Renal artery branch visualisation was better at 50 keV (P < 0.005). Attenuation and CNR were higher at 50 and 70 keV (P < 0.0001). The WD images had diagnostic quality but higher noise than TNE images (P < 0.0001). Radiation dose was lower using single-phase ssDECT compared to dual-phase SE-CT (P < 0.0001).


70-keV images from ssDECT provide higher contrast enhancement and improved image quality for aorto-iliac CT when compared to SE-CT at 120 kVp. WD images are an effective substitute for TNE images with a potential for dose reduction.

Key Points

Multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) angiography is now a routine procedure.

Single-source dual-energy CT (ssDECT) can provide simultaneous data with different kilovoltages.

70 keV images showed better image quality than conventional single-energy (SE) CT.

70 keV images exhibited less image noise in comparison to SE-CT.


Dual-energy  CT CT  angiography Multidetector  CT Radiation  dose Unenhanced  virtual  images 



DVS has received grant support from GE Healthcare in the past but not related to this study.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniella F. Pinho
    • 1
    • 2
  • Naveen M. Kulkarni
    • 1
  • Arun Krishnaraj
    • 1
  • Sanjeeva P. Kalva
    • 3
  • Dushyant V. Sahani
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Abdominal Imaging and InterventionMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of ImagingHospital Israelita Albert EinsteinSao PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Division of Vascular Imaging & InterventionMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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