Dual-energy cardiac and pulmonary CT

Author(s): Michelle C Williams

Hospital: University of Edinburgh

Reference: RAD Magazine, 45, 530, 9-10


Dual-energy computed tomography (CT) imaging involves obtaining two image datasets acquired at different tube voltages. It harnesses the difference in attenuation when different photon energy levels are applied. Using specialised software, the two images are combined to produce a variety of derived images. This has utility in both cardiac and pulmonary imaging, including improving image quality and quantifying iodine concentration. However, cardiac and respiratory motion remain an important limitation.

To perform dual-energy CT two sets of images are obtained, one at high energy (120-150kVp) and one at low energy (80-100kV). These image datasets can be acquired in several ways depending on the available equipment. Two datasets at different tube voltages can be acquired consecutively using any standard single-source CT scanner. Alternatively, two images can be acquired simultaneously using a CT scanner that has two x-ray tubes (dual-source dual-energy CT), two layers of detectors (dual-layer detector dual-energy CT) or one x-ray tube with rapid switching between energies (fast kilovoltage switching dual-energy CT). Post-processing software is then required to create the desired images.

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