Dual-energy CT: a phantom comparison of different platforms for abdominal imaging
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Evaluation of imaging performance across dual-energy CT (DECT) platforms, including dual-layer CT (DLCT), rapid-kVp-switching CT (KVSCT) and dual-source CT (DSCT).
A semi-anthropomorphic abdomen phantom was imaged on these DECT systems. Scans were repeated three times for CTDIvol levels of 10 mGy, 20 mGy, 30 mGy and different fat-simulating extension rings. Over the available range of virtual-monoenergetic images (VMI), noise as well as quantitative accuracy of hounsfield units (HU) and iodine concentrations were evaluated.
For all VMI levels, HU values could be determined with high accuracy compared to theoretical values. For KVSCT and DSCT, a noise increase was observed towards lower VMI levels. A patient-size dependent increase in the uncertainty of quantitative iodine concentrations is observed for all platforms. For a medium patient size the iodine concentration root-mean-square deviation at 20 mGy is 0.17 mg/ml (DLCT), 0.30 mg/ml (KVSCT) and 0.77mg/ml (DSCT).
Noticeable performance differences are observed between investigated DECT systems. Iodine concentrations and VMI HUs are accurately determined across all DECT systems. KVSCT and DLCT deliver slightly more accurate iodine concentration values than DSCT for investigated scenarios. In DLCT, low-noise and high-image contrast at low VMI levels may help to increase diagnostic information in abdominal CT.
• Current dual-energy CT platforms provide accurate, reliable quantitative information.
• Dual-energy CT cross-platform evaluation revealed noticeable performance differences between different systems.
• Dual-layer CT offers constant noise levels over the complete energy range.
KeywordsComputed tomography, X-ray Quantitative evaluation Radiologic phantom Comparative study Iodine
Dual-energy Computed Tomography
Rapid kVp Switching CT
Region of Interest
Virtual Monoenergetic Image
This study has received funding by the European Research Council (ERC, H2020, AdG 695045), the DFG Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz program, by the German Department of Education and Research (BMBF) under grant IMEDO (13GW0072C) and the TUM Institute for Advanced Study, funded by the German Excellence Initiative.
Compliance with ethical standards
The scientific guarantor of this publication is Dushyant V. Sahani MD.
Conflict of interest
The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.
Statistics and biometry
No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.
Written informed consent was not required for this study because no human subjects were included in the study.
Approval from the institutional animal care committee was not required because no animal subjects were included in the study.
• multicentre study
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