Dual-Energy CT Material Density Iodine Quantification for Distinguishing Vascular From Nonvascular Renal Lesions: Normalization Reduces Intermanufacturer Threshold Variability.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a single, uniform normalized iodine threshold reduces variability and enables reliable differentiation between vascular and nonvascular renal lesions independent of the dual-energy CT (DECT) platform used. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective, HIPAA-compliant, institutional review board-approved study, 247 patients (156 men, 91 women; mean age ± SD, 67 ± 12 years old) with 263 renal lesions (193 nonvascular, 70 vascular) underwent unenhanced single-energy and contrast-enhanced DECT scans. One hundred and six nonvascular and 38 vascular lesions were scanned on two dual-source DECT (dsDECT) scanners, and 87 nonvascular and 32 vascular lesions were scanned on two rapid-kilovoltage-switching single-source DECT (rsDECT) scanners. Optimal absolute and normalized (to aorta) lesion iodine thresholds were determined for each platform type and for the entire cohort combined. RESULTS: Mean optimal absolute discriminant thresholds were 1.3 mg I/mL (95% CI, 1.2-1.9 mg I/mL), 1.6 mg I/mL (95% CI, 0.9-1.5 mg I/mL), and 1.5 mg I/mL (95% CI, 1.4-1.7 mg I/mL) for dsDECT, rsDECT, and combined cohorts, respectively. Optimal normalized discriminant thresholds were 0.3 mg I/mL (95% CI, 0.2-0.4 mg I/mL) for both the dsDECT and rsDECT cohorts, and 0.3 mg I/mL (0.3-0.4 mg I/mL) for the combined cohort. The AUC, sensitivity, and specificity for the combined optimal normalized discriminant threshold of 0.3 mg I/mL was 0.96 (95% CI, 0.92-1.00), 0.93 (0.84-0.97), and 0.95 (0.91-0.98), respectively. Normalization resulted in decreased variability and better lesion separation (effect size, 1.77 vs 1.69, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: The optimal absolute discriminant threshold for evaluating renal lesions varies depending on the type of DECT platform, though this difference is not statistically significant. Variation can be reduced with a better separation of vascular and nonvascular lesions by normalizing iodine quantification to the aorta.
Patel, BN; Vernuccio, F; Meyer, M; Godwin, B; Rosenberg, M; Rudnick, N; Harring, S; Nelson, R; Ramirez-Giraldo, JC; Farjat, A; Marin, D
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