JOURNAL ARTICLE

Optimization of kiloelectron volt settings in cerebral and cervical dual-energy CT angiography determined with virtual monoenergetic imaging

David Schneider, Paul Apfaltrer, Sonja Sudarski, John W Nance, Holger Haubenreisser, Christian Fink, Stefan O Schoenberg, Thomas Henzler
Academic Radiology 2014, 21 (4): 431-6
24594412

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) offers various fields of application, especially in angiography using virtual monoenergetic imaging. The aim of this study was to evaluate objective image quality indices of calculated low-kiloelectron volt monoenergetic DECT angiographic cervical and cerebral data sets compared to virtual 120-kV polyenergetic images.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty-one patients (21 men, mean age 58 ± 14) who underwent DECT angiography of the cervical (n = 7) or cerebral vessels (n = 34) were retrospectively included in this study. Data acquired with the 80 and 140 kVp tube using dual-source CT technology were subsequently used to calculate low-kiloelectron volt monoenergetic image data sets ranging from 120 to 40 keV (at 10-keV intervals per patient). Vessel and soft tissue attenuation and image noise were measured in various regions of interest, and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) was subsequently calculated. Differences in image attenuation and CNR were compared between the different monoenergetic data sets and virtual 120-kV polyenergetic images.

RESULTS: For cervical angiography, 60-keV monoenergetic data sets resulted in the greatest improvements in vessel attenuation and CNR compared to virtual 120-kV polyenergetic data sets (+40%, +16%; all P < .01). Also for cerebral vessel assessment, 60-keV monoenergetic data sets provided the greatest improvement in vessel attenuation and CNR (+40%, +9%; all P < .01) compared to virtual 120-kV polyenergetic data sets.

CONCLUSIONS: 60-keV monoenergetic image data significantly improve vessel attenuation and CNR of cervical and cerebral DECT angiographic studies. Future studies have to evaluate whether the technique can lead to an increased diagnostic accuracy or should be used for dose reduction of iodinated contrast material.

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