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Crohn’s disease active inflammation assessment with iodine density from dual-energy CT enterography: comparison with endoscopy and conventional interpretation



To compare terminal ileum (TI) mucosal iodine density obtained at dual-energy CT enterography (DECTE) with conventional CT interpretation and endoscopy in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD).

Materials and Methods

Twenty-three CD patients (14 men; mean[SD] age:48.1[16.7] years) with endoscopy within 30 days of DECTE were retrospectively identified. An inflammatory bowel disease gastroenterologist reviewed endoscopic images. Two radiologists qualitatively assessed the presence of active TI inflammation. Mean iodine density normalized to the aorta (I%), mean absolute iodine density (I), and iodine density standard deviation (ISD) from the distal 2 cm ileum (TI) mucosa obtained using semiautomatic prototype software were compared with endoscopic assessment using Mann Whitney tests. The optimal threshold I% and I were determined from receiver operating curves (ROC). Sensitivity and specificity of conventional interpretation and determined iodine thresholds were compared using McNemar’s test. Inter-reader agreement was assessed using kappa. A p < 0.05 indicated statistical significance.


Twelve (52.1%) patients had endoscopic active inflammation. I% was 37.9[13.3]% for patients with and 21.7[7.5]% for patients without endoscopic active inflammation (p = 0.001). The optimal ROC threshold 24.6% had 100% sensitivity and 81.8% specificity (AUC = 0.909, 95% CI 0.777–1). I was 2.44[0.73]mg/mL for patients with and 1.77[1.00]mg/mL for patients without active endoscopic inflammation (p = 0.0455). The optimal ROC threshold 1.78 mg/mL I had 91.7% sensitivity and 63.6% specificity (AUC = 0.75, 95% CI 0.532–0.968). ISD was similar for patients with and without endoscopic active inflammation (0.82[0.33]mg/mL and 0.77[0.28]mg/mL, respectively, p = 0.37). Conventional interpretation sensitivity and specificity (R1/R2) were 83.3%/91.7% and 72.7%/54.5%, respectively (all p > 0.05) with moderate inter-reader agreement (Κ = 0.542[95% CI 0.0202–0.088]).


Mean normalized iodine density is highly sensitive and specific for endoscopic active inflammation. DECTE could be considered as a surrogate to endoscopy in CD patients. Despite trends towards improved sensitivity and specificity compared with conventional interpretation, future larger studies are needed.

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We thank Kun Qian for assistance with statistical analysis.


BD: None, AL: None, TO: Siemens Healthineers employee, RP: None, WR: None, SB: None, SC None, AM: Consultant for Bracco Diagnostic Inc.



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Correspondence to Bari Dane.

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Alec Megibow consultant for Bracco Inc, Thomas O’Donnell Siemens Healthineers employee.

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Dane, B., Kernizan, A., O’Donnell, T. et al. Crohn’s disease active inflammation assessment with iodine density from dual-energy CT enterography: comparison with endoscopy and conventional interpretation. Abdom Radiol 47, 3406–3413 (2022).

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  • Crohn disease
  • Dual-energy CT enterography
  • CT enterography
  • Iodine density
  • Inflammatory bowel disease