Virtual Monochromatic Images from Dual-Energy Multidetector CT: Variance in CT Numbers from the Same Lesion between Single-Source Projection-based and Dual-Source Image-based Implementations.
PURPOSE: To determine the variance in virtual monochromatic computed tomography (CT) numbers from the same lesion, comparing the two clinically available dual-energy multidetector CT hardware implementations (single-source projection-based and dual-source image-based), in a phantom-based simulated abdominal environment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This phantom-based study was exempt from institutional review board oversight. Polyethylene terephthalate spheres (15 and 18 mm) with two iodine-to-saline dilutions (0.8 and 1.2 mg of iodine per millilliter) were serially suspended in a cylindrical polypropylene bottle filled with diluted iodinated contrast material. The bottle was placed into a 36-cm-wide torso-shaped water phantom simulating the abdomen of a medium-sized patient. Dual-energy (80/140 kVp) and single-energy (100 and 120 kVp) scans were obtained with single-source and dual-source multidetector CT implementations. Virtual monochromatic images were reconstructed at energy levels of 40-140 keV (in 10-keV increments) in either the projection-space or image-space domain. A multivariate regression analysis approach was used to investigate the effect of energy level, lesion size, lesion iodine content, and implementation type on measured CT numbers. RESULTS: There were significant differences in the attenuation values measured in the simulated lesions with the single-source projection-based platform and the dual-source image-based implementation (P < .001 for all comparisons). The magnitude of these differences was greatest at lower monochromatic energy levels and at lower iodine concentrations (average difference at 40 keV: 25.7 HU; average difference at 140 keV: 7 HU). The monochromatic energy level and the lesion iodine concentration had a significant effect on the difference in the measured attenuation values between the two implementations, which indicates that the two imaging platforms respond differently to changes in investigated variables (P < .001 for all comparisons). CONCLUSION: There is a statistically significant variance in virtual monochromatic CT numbers from the same lesion examined with single-source projection-based and dual-source image-based implementations. The magnitude of the variance is a function of the selected energy level and the lesion iodine content.
Mileto, A; Barina, A; Marin, D; Stinnett, SS; Roy Choudhury, K; Wilson, JM; Nelson, RC
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