Dual-energy CT for routine imaging of the abdomen and pelvis: radiation dose and image quality
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To assess the radiation dose and image quality of routine dual energy CT (DECT) of the abdomen and pelvis performed in the emergency department setting, compared with single energy CT (SECT).
Materials and methods
Seventy-five consecutive routine contrast-enhanced SECT scans of the abdomen and pelvis meeting inclusion criteria were compared with 75 routine contrast-enhanced DECT scans matched by size and patient weight (within 10 lbs), performed on the same dual-source DECT scanner. Cohorts were compared in terms of radiation dose metrics of CT dose index (CTDIvol) and dose length product (DLP), objective measurements of image quality (signal, noise, and signal-to-noise ratio of a variety of anatomical landmarks), and subjective measurements of image quality scored by two emergency radiologists.
Demographics and patient size were not statistically different between DECT and SECT cohorts. Both average scans CTDIvol and DLP were significantly lower with DECT than with SECT. Average scan CTDIvol for SECT was 14.7 mGy (± 6.6) and for DECT was 10.9 mGy (± 3.8) (p < 0.0001). Average scan DLP for SECT was 681.5 mGy cm (± 339.3) and for DECT was 534.8 mGy cm (± 201.9) (p < 0.0001). For objective image quality metrics, for all structures measured, noise was significantly lower and SNR was significantly higher with DECT compared with SECT. For subjective image quality, for both readers, there was no significant difference between SECT and DECT in subjective image quality for soft tissues and vascular structures, or for subjective image noise.
DECT was performed with decreased radiation dose when compared with SECT, demonstrated improved objective measurements of image quality, and equivalent subjective image quality.
KeywordsDual-energy CT Radiation dose CTDI
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
Dr. Sodickson is Principal Investigator on a Siemens institutional research grant.
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