TH-CD-202-04: Evaluation of Virtual Non-Contrast Images From a Novel Split-Filter Dual-Energy CT Technique

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Abstract

Purpose:

To compare the ability of two dual-energy CT techniques, a novel split-filter single-source technique of superior temporal resolution against an established sequential-scan technique, to remove iodine contrast from images with minimal impact on CT number accuracy.

Methods:

A phantom containing 8 tissue substitute materials and vials of varying iodine concentrations (1.7–20.1 mg I /mL) was imaged using a Siemens Edge CT scanner. Dual-energy virtual non-contrast (VNC) images were generated using the novel split-filter technique, in which a 120kVp spectrum is filtered by tin and gold to create high- and low-energy spectra with < 1 second temporal separation between the acquisition of low- and high-energy data. Additionally, VNC images were generated with the sequential-scan technique (80 and 140kVp) for comparison. CT number accuracy was evaluated for all materials at 15, 25, and 35mGy CTDIvol.

Results:

The spectral separation was greater for the sequential-scan technique than the split-filter technique with dual-energy ratios of 2.18 and 1.26, respectively. Both techniques successfully removed iodine contrast, resulting in mean CT numbers within 60HU of 0HU (split-filter) and 40HU of 0HU (sequential-scan) for all iodine concentrations. Additionally, for iodine vials of varying diameter (2–20 mm) with the same concentration (9.9 mg I /mL), the system accurately detected iodine for all sizes investigated. Both dual-energy techniques resulted in reduced CT numbers for bone materials (by >400HU for the densest bone). Increasing the imaging dose did not improve the CT number accuracy for bone in VNC images.

Conclusion:

VNC images from the split-filter technique successfully removed iodine contrast. These results demonstrate a potential for improving dose calculation accuracy and reducing patient imaging dose, while achieving superior temporal resolution in comparison sequential scans. For both techniques, inaccuracies in CT numbers for bone materials necessitate consideration for radiation therapy treatment planning.

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