Assessment of 70-keV virtual monoenergetic spectral images in abdominal CT imaging: A comparison study to conventional polychromatic 120-kVp images.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the image quality of 70-keV virtual monoenergetic (monoE) abdominal CT images compared to 120-kVp polychromatic images generated from a spectral detector CT (SDCT) scanner. METHODS: This prospective study included generation of a 120-kVp polychromatic dataset and a 70-keV virtual monoE dataset after a single contrast-enhanced CT acquisition on a SDCT scanner (Philips Healthcare) during portal venous phase. The attenuation values (HU), noise, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were measured in the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidney, aorta, portal vein, and muscle. The subjective image quality including noise, soft tissue contrast, sharpness, and overall image quality were graded on a 5-point Likert scale by two radiologists independently (1-worst image quality, 5-best image quality). Statistical analysis was performed using paired sample t test and Fleiss's Kappa. RESULTS: Fifty-five patients (54.3 ± 16.8 y/o; 28 M, 27 F) were recruited. The noise of target organs was significantly lower in virtual monoE images in comparison to polychromatic images (p < 0.001). The SNR and CNR were significantly higher in virtual monoE images (p < 0.001 for both). Subjective image quality of 70-keV virtual monoE images was significantly better (p < 0.001) for all evaluated parameters. Median scores for all subjective parameters were 3.0 versus 4.0 for polychromatic vs virtual monoE images, respectively. The inter-reader agreement for overall image quality was good (Kappa were 0.767 and 0.762 for polychromatic and virtual monoE images, respectively). CONCLUSION: In abdominal imaging, 70-keV virtual monoE CT images demonstrated significantly better noise, SNR, CNR, and subjective score compared to conventional 120-kVp polychromatic images.
Rassouli, N; Chalian, H; Rajiah, P; Dhanantwari, A; Landeras, L
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