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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: European Journal of Radiology, 2011, Vol.80(2), pp.612-619
    Description: The purpose of this study was to evaluate image fusion in dual energy computed tomography for detecting various anatomic structures based on the effect on contrast enhancement, contrast-to-noise ratio, signal-to-noise ratio and image quality. Forty patients underwent a CT neck with dual energy mode (DECT under a Somatom Definition flash Dual Source CT scanner (Siemens, Forchheim, Germany)). Tube voltage: 80-kV and Sn140-kV; tube current: 110 and 290 mA s; collimation-2 × 32 × 0.6 mm. Raw data were reconstructed using a soft convolution kernel (D30f). Fused images were calculated using a spectrum of weighting factors (0.0, 0.3, 0.6 0.8 and 1.0) generating different ratios between the 80- and Sn140-kV images (e.g. factor 0.6 corresponds to 60% of their information from the 80-kV image, and 40% from the Sn140-kV image). CT values and SNRs measured in the ascending aorta, thyroid gland, fat, muscle, CSF, spinal cord, bone marrow and brain. In addition, CNR values calculated for aorta, thyroid, muscle and brain. Subjective image quality evaluated using a 5-point grading scale. Results compared using paired -tests and nonparametric-paired Wilcoxon–Wilcox-test. Statistically significant increases in mean CT values noted in anatomic structures when increasing weighting factors used (all ≤ 0.001). For example, mean CT values derived from the contrast enhanced aorta were 149.2 ± 12.8 Hounsfield Units (HU), 204.8 ± 14.4 HU, 267.5 ± 18.6 HU, 311.9 ± 22.3 HU, 347.3 ± 24.7 HU, when the weighting factors 0.0, 0.3, 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0 were used. The highest SNR and CNR values were found in materials when the weighting factor 0.6 used. The difference CNR between the weighting factors 0.6 and 0.3 was statistically significant in the contrast enhanced aorta and thyroid gland ( = 0.012 and = 0.016, respectively). Visual image assessment for image quality showed the highest score for the data reconstructed using the weighting factor 0.6. Different fusion factors used to create images in DECT cause statistically significant differences in CT value, SNR, CNR and image quality. Best results obtained using the weighting factor 0.6 for all anatomic structures used in this study.
    Keywords: Contrast to Noise Ratio (Cnr) ; Image Quality ; Dual Source CT (Dsct) ; Dual Energy Fusion ; Medicine
    ISSN: 0720-048X
    E-ISSN: 1872-7727
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Radiology, June 2014, Vol.271(3), pp.778-84
    Description: To evaluate the feasibility of phantomless in vivo dual-energy computed tomography (CT)-based three-dimensional (3D) bone mineral density (BMD) assessment in comparison with dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board, and the requirement to obtain informed consent was waived. Data from clinically indicated dual-energy CT and DXA examinations within 2 months, comprising the lumbar spine of 40 patients, were included. By using automated dedicated postprocessing dual-energy CT software, the trabecular bone of lumbar vertebrae L1-L4 were analyzed and segmented. A mixed-effects model was used to assess the correlations between BMD values derived from dual-energy CT and DXA. One hundred sixty lumbar vertebrae were analyzed in 40 patients (mean age, 57.1 years; range, 24-85 years), 21 male (mean age, 54.3 years; range, 24-85 years) and 19 female (mean age, 58.5 years; range, 31-80 years). Mean BMD of L1-L4 determined with DXA was 0.995 g/cm(2), and 18 patients (45%) showed an osteoporotic BMD (T score less than -2.5) of at least two vertebrae. Mean dual-energy CT-based BMD of L1-L4 was 0.254 g/cm(3). Bland-Altman analysis with mixed effects demonstrated a lack of correlation between dual-energy CT-based and DXA-based BMD values, with a mean difference of 0.7441 and 95% limits of agreement of 0.7441 ± 0.4080. Dedicated postprocessing of dual-energy CT data allows for phantomless in vivo BMD assessment of the trabecular bone of lumbar vertebrae and enables freely rotatable color-coded 3D visualization of intravertebral BMD distribution.
    Keywords: Bone Density ; Imaging, Three-Dimensional ; Bone Diseases, Metabolic -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Lumbar Vertebrae -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Osteoporosis -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Tomography, X-Ray Computed -- Methods
    ISSN: 00338419
    E-ISSN: 1527-1315
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Current Radiology Reports, 2015, Vol.3(4), pp.1-13
    Description: Dual-energy CT (DECT) is a steadily emerging innovative imaging modality. Various applications have been developed and applied to successfully solve diagnostic difficulties that standard CT has in the abdomen. This includes kidney stone differentiation, cholesterol gallstone detection, renal and adrenal lesion characterization, and tumor response monitoring. This article is supposed to give a current update on possible applications of DECT in the abdomen and their evidence.
    Keywords: Dual-energy CT ; Imaging modality ; Abdomen
    E-ISSN: 2167-4825
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: European Journal of Radiology, April 2012, Vol.81(4), pp.e507-e512
    Description: ► The dual-energy protocol delivers the lowest effective dose of the investigated protocols for standard chest CT examinations, thus enabling functional imaging (like dual-energy perfusion) and can produce weighted images without dose penalty. ► The high-pitch protocol goes along with a 16% increase in dose compared to the standard 120 kV protocol and thus should preferably be used in pediatric, acute care settings (e.g. pulmonary embolism, aortic dissection and the like) or restless patients. ► The difference in effective dose estimates between ICRP 60 and 103 is minimal. ► Tube potential definitely has an effect on estimates of effective dose. To determine effective dose (E) during standard chest CT using an organ dose-based and a dose-length-product-based (DLP) approach for four different scan protocols including high-pitch and dual-energy in a dual-source CT scanner of the second generation. Organ doses were measured with thermo luminescence dosimeters (TLD) in an anthropomorphic male adult phantom. Further, DLP-based dose estimates were performed by using the standard 0.014 mSv/mGycm conversion coefficient . Examinations were performed on a dual-source CT system (Somatom Definition Flash, Siemens). Four scan protocols were investigated: (1) single-source 120 kV, (2) single-source 100 kV, (3) high-pitch 120 kV, and (4) dual-energy with 100/Sn140 kV with equivalent CTDIvol and no automated tube current modulation. E was then determined following recommendations of ICRP publication 103 and 60 and specific values were derived. DLP-based estimates differed by 4.5–16.56% and 5.2–15.8% relatively to ICRP 60 and 103, respectively. The derived factors calculated from TLD measurements were 0.0148, 0.015, 0.0166, and 0.0148 for protocol 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Effective dose estimations by ICRP 103 and 60 for single-energy and dual-energy protocols show a difference of less than 0.04 mSv. Estimates of E based on DLP work equally well for single-energy, high-pitch and dual-energy CT examinations. The tube potential definitely affects effective dose in a substantial way. Effective dose estimations by ICRP 103 and 60 for both single-energy and dual-energy examinations differ not more than 0.04 mSv.
    Keywords: Effective Dose (E) ; Organ Dose ; Thermo Luminescent Dosimetry ; Dual-Energy ; High-Pitch ; Medicine
    ISSN: 0720-048X
    E-ISSN: 1872-7727
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Radiology, August 2011, Vol.260(2), pp.390-9
    Description: To prospectively compare traditional filtered back projection (FBP) and iterative image reconstruction for the evaluation of heavily calcified arteries with coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography. The study had institutional review board approval and was HIPAA compliant. Written informed consent was obtained from all patients. Fifty-five consecutive patients (35 men, 20 women; mean age, 58 years ± 12 [standard deviation]) with Agatston scores of at least 400 underwent coronary CT angiography and cardiac catheterization. Image data were reconstructed with both FBP and iterative reconstruction techniques with corresponding cardiac algorithms. Image noise and subjective image quality were compared. To objectively assess the effect of FBP and iterative reconstruction on blooming artifacts, volumes of circumscribed calcifications were measured with dedicated volume analysis software. FBP and iterative reconstruction series were independently evaluated for coronary artery stenosis greater than 50%, and their diagnostic accuracy was compared, with cardiac catheterization as the reference standard. Statistical analyses included paired t tests, Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance, and a modified McNemar test. Image noise measured significantly lower (P = .011-.035) with iterative reconstruction instead of FBP. Image quality was rated significantly higher (P = .031 and .042) with iterative reconstruction series than with FBP. Calcification volumes measured significantly lower (P = .019 and .026) with iterative reconstruction (44.3 mm(3) ± 64.7 and 46.2 mm(3) ± 68.8) than with FBP (54.5 mm(3) ± 69.5 and 56.3 mm(3) ± 72.5). Iterative reconstruction significantly improved some measures of per-segment diagnostic accuracy of coronary CT angiography for the detection of significant stenosis compared with FBP (accuracy: 95.9% vs 91.8%, P = .0001; specificity: 95.8% vs 91.2%, P = .0001; positive predictive value: 76.9% vs 61.1%, P = .0001). Iterative reconstruction reduces image noise and blooming artifacts from calcifications, leading to improved diagnostic accuracy of coronary CT angiography in patients with heavily calcified coronary arteries.
    Keywords: Tomography, X-Ray Computed ; Calcinosis -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Coronary Angiography -- Methods ; Coronary Stenosis -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted -- Methods
    ISSN: 00338419
    E-ISSN: 1527-1315
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Radiology, August 2016, Vol.280(2), pp.510-9
    Description: Purpose To evaluate whether a dual-energy (DE) computed tomographic (CT) virtual noncalcium technique can improve the detection rate of acute thoracolumbar vertebral compression fractures in patients with osteoporosis compared with that at magnetic resonance (MR) imaging depending on the level of experience of the reading radiologist. Materials and Methods This retrospective study was approved by the institutional ethics committee. Informed consent was obtained from all patients. Forty-nine patients with osteoporosis who were suspected of having acute vertebral fracture underwent DE CT and MR imaging. Conventional linear-blended CT scans and corresponding virtual noncalcium reconstructions were obtained. Five radiologists with varying levels of experience evaluated gray-scale CT scans for the presence of fractures and their suspected age. Then, virtual noncalcium images were evaluated to detect bone marrow edema. Findings were compared with those from MR imaging (the standard of reference). Sensitivity and specificity analyses for diagnostic performance and matched pair analyses were performed on vertebral fracture and patient levels. Results Sixty-two fractures were classified as fresh and 52 as old at MR imaging. The diagnostic performance of all readers in the detection of fresh fractures improved with the addition of virtual noncalcium reconstructions compared with that with conventional CT alone. Although the diagnostic accuracy of the least experienced reader with virtual noncalcium CT (accuracy with CT alone, 61%; accuracy with virtual noncalcium technique, 83%) was within the range of that of the most experienced reader with CT alone, the latter improved his accuracy with the noncalcium technique (from 81% to 95%), coming close to that with MR imaging. The number of vertebrae rated as unclear decreased by 59%-90% or from 15-53 to 2-13 in absolute numbers across readers. The number of patients potentially referred to MR imaging decreased by 36%-87% (from 11-23 to 2-10 patients). Considering the gain in true decisions with the virtual noncalcium technique on a patient level, between 12 (most experienced reader) and 17 (least experienced reader) MR examinations could have been avoided. Conclusion The DE CT-based virtual noncalcium technique may enable depiction of bone marrow edema in thoracolumbar vertebral compression fractures in patients with osteoporosis, with good accordance with MR imaging when images are read by experienced radiologists. Although less experienced readers improved their diagnostic performance to some degree, the experienced reader's diagnostic performance approached that with MR imaging. (©) RSNA, 2016.
    Keywords: Bone Marrow -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Fractures, Compression -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Magnetic Resonance Imaging -- Methods ; Osteoporosis -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Spinal Fractures -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Tomography, X-Ray Computed -- Methods
    ISSN: 00338419
    E-ISSN: 1527-1315
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: European Journal of Radiology, 2011, Vol.79(2), pp.e128-e132
    Description: To determine the difference in radiation dose between non-enhanced (NECT) and contrast-enhanced (CECT) chest CT examinations contributed by contrast material with different scanner generations with automatic exposure control (AEC). Each 42 adult patients received a NECT and CECT of the chest in one session on a 16-, 64- or 128-slice CT scanner with the same scan protocol settings. However, AEC technology (Care Dose 4D, Siemens) underwent upgrades in each of the three scanner generations. DLP, CTDIvol and image noise were compared. Although absolute differences in image noise were very small and ranged between 10 and 13 HU for NECT and CECT in median, the differences in image noise and dose (DLP: 16-slice:+2.8%; 64-slice:+3.9%; 128-slice:+5.6%) between NECT and CECT were statistically significant in all groups. Image noise and dose parameters were significantly lower in the most recent 128-slice CT generation for both NECT and CECT (DLP: 16-slice:+35.5–39.2%; 64-slice:+6.8–8.5%). The presence of contrast material lead to an increase in dose for chest examinations in three CT generations with AEC. Although image noise values were significantly higher for CECT, the absolute differences were in a range of 3 HU. This can be regarded as negligible, thus indicating that AEC is able to fulfill its purpose of maintaining image quality. However, technological developments lead to a significant reduction of dose and image noise with the latest CT generation.
    Keywords: Chest CT ; Automatic Exposure Control ; 16-Slice CT ; 64-Slice ; CT 128-Slice ; CT Contrast Material ; Medicine
    ISSN: 0720-048X
    E-ISSN: 1872-7727
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: European radiology, January 2011, Vol.21(1), pp.107-12
    Description: Computed tomography (CT) of the paranasal sinus is the standard diagnostic tool for a wide range of indications in mostly younger patients. This study aims to assess the image quality of CT of the sinus by using a high-pitch dual-source technique with special regard to the radiation dose. Examinations were performed on a second-generation dual-source CT with a pitch factor of 3.0 (dual-source mode). Images were compared with those with a pitch factor of 0.9 on the same system (single-source mode) and with those of 16-slice CT. Image quality was evaluated by four blinded readers using a 5-point scale (1=poor, 5=excellent). Comparison of the dose length product (DLP) was used to estimate radiation exposure. Seventy-three consecutive patients underwent imaging with the proposed CT protocols. The viewers rated the image quality of the dual-source image sets as nearly as good (3.62) as the single-source images on the same device (4.18) and those on 16-slice CT (3.7). DLP was cut to half of the dose [51 mGycm vs. 97.8 mGycm vs. 116.9 mGycm (p〈0.01)]. Using the proposed dual-source mode when examining the paranasal sinus, diagnostic image quality can be achieved while drastically lowering the patient's radiation exposure.
    Keywords: Tomography, X-Ray Computed ; Paranasal Sinuses -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Skull -- Diagnostic Imaging
    ISSN: 09387994
    E-ISSN: 1432-1084
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: European radiology, June 2014, Vol.24(6), pp.1211-8
    Description: To evaluate image quality and diagnostic accuracy of selective monoenergetic reconstructions of late iodine enhancement (LIE) dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) for imaging of chronic myocardial infarction (CMI). Twenty patients with a history of coronary bypass surgery underwent cardiac LIE-DECT and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). LIE-DECT images were reconstructed as selective monoenergetic spectral images with photon energies of 40, 60, 80, and 100 keV and the standard linear blending setting (M_0.6). Images were assessed for late enhancement, transmural extent, signal characteristics and subjective image quality. Seventy-nine myocardial segments (23 %) showed LGE. LIE-DECT detected 76 lesions. Images obtained at 80 keV and M_0.6 showed a high signal-to-noise ratio (15.9; 15.1), contrast-to-noise ratio (4.2; 4.0) and sensitivity (94.9 %; 92.4 %) while specificity was identical (99.6 %). Differences between these series were not statistically significant. Transmural extent of LIE was overestimated in both series (80 keV: 40 %; M_0.6: 35 %) in comparison to MRI. However, observers preferred 80 keV in 13/20 cases (65 %, κ = 0.634) over M_0.6 (4/20 cases) regarding subjective image quality. Post-processing of LIE-DECT data with selective monoenergetic reconstructions at 80 keV significantly improves subjective image quality while objective image quality shows no significant difference compared to standard linear blending. Late enhancement dual-energy CT allows for detection of chronic myocardial infarction. Monoenergetic reconstructions at 80 keV significantly improve subjective image quality. 80 keV and standard linear blending reconstructions show no significant differences. Extent of CMI detected with LIE-DECT is overestimated compared with MRI.
    Keywords: Iodine ; Image Enhancement -- Methods ; Myocardial Infarction -- Diagnostic Imaging ; Tomography, X-Ray Computed -- Methods
    ISSN: 09387994
    E-ISSN: 1432-1084
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: European Journal of Radiology, 2010, Vol.75(1), pp.e74-e80
    Description: The potential of dual energy computed tomography (DECT) for the analysis of gallstone compounds was investigated. The main goal was to find parameters, that can reliably define high percentage (〉70%) cholesterol stones without calcium components. 35 gallstones were analyzed with DECT using a phantom model. Stone samples were put into specimen containers filled with formalin. Containers were put into a water-filled cylindrical acrylic glass phantom. DECT scans were performed using a tube voltage/current of 140 kV/83 mAs (tube A) and 80 kV/340 mAs (tube B). ROI-measurements to determine CT attenuation of each sector of the stones that had different appearance on the CT images were performed. Finally, semi-quantitative infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) of these sectors was performed for chemical analysis. ROI-measurements were performed in 45 different sectors in 35 gallstones. Sectors containing 〉70% of cholesterol and no calcium component ( = 20) on FTIR could be identified with 95% sensitivity and 100% specificity on DECT. These sectors showed typical attenuation of −8 ± 4 HU at 80 kV and +22 ± 3 HU at 140 kV. Even the presence of a small calcium component (〈10%) hindered the reliable identification of cholesterol components as such. Dual energy CT allows for reliable identification of gallstones containing a high percentage of cholesterol and no calcium component in this pre-clinical phantom model. Results from or anthropomorphic phantom trials will have to confirm these results. This may enable the identification of patients eligible for non-surgical treatment options in the future.
    Keywords: Dual Energy Computed Tomography ; Compound Analysis ; Tissue Differentiation ; Gallstones ; Cholesterol ; Medicine
    ISSN: 0720-048X
    E-ISSN: 1872-7727
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