Dual-Energy Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography: Comparison of Vessel Enhancement between Linear Blended and Virtual Monoenergetic Reconstruction Techniques

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Abstract

Introduction: Optimal opacification of the pulmonary vasculature is a fundamental factor of a diagnostic quality computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA). This retrospective study examined the feasibility of utilising a noise-optimised monoenergetic reconstruction of the dual-energy computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (DE-CTPA) as an additional protocol to increase vessel opacification. Method: The study involved a retrospective analysis of 129 patients, 69 males (average age 58 years), 60 females (average age 56 years) who underwent a DE-CTPA at a tertiary referral hospital. Linear blended 120 kilovoltage (kV) images (LB120) dual-energy (DE) data sets (50% 100 kV and 50% 140 kV) were compared to noise-optimised virtual monoenergetic image reconstruction (VMI+) at 40 kiloelectron volts (VMI+40). The attenuation of the pulmonary trunk measured in Hounsfield units (HU) between the equivalent axial slices of the LB120 data set and the VMI+40 data set underwent statistical analysis via a Wilcoxon paired-sample test. Results: VMI+40 (1161.500 HU) yielded a statistically significant increase in median attenuation within the pulmonary trunk compared to the LB120 (304.400 HU), with a median difference between monoenergetic reconstruction and standard dual energy of data sets of 827.5 HU (P <.001). Conclusions: VMI+40 of the DE-CTPA scan demonstrates a statistically significant increase in vessel attenuation in all cases and may have utility in reducing the rates of indeterminate or repeated studies.

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Murphy, A., Cheng, J., Pratap, J., Redman, R., & Coucher, J. (2019). Dual-Energy Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography: Comparison of Vessel Enhancement between Linear Blended and Virtual Monoenergetic Reconstruction Techniques. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 50(1), 62–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmir.2018.10.009

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