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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010 Aug;195(2):486-93. doi: 10.2214/AJR.09.3872.

Feasibility of dual-energy CT in the arterial phase: Imaging after endovascular aortic repair.

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  • 1Imaging Institute, Cleveland Clinic, OH 44195, USA.



The purpose of this study was to investigate replacing unenhanced and arterial single-energy CT acquisitions after endovascular aneurysm repair with one dual-energy CT arterial acquisition.


Thirty patients underwent arterial dual-energy CT (80 and 140 kVp) and venous single-energy CT (120 kVp) after endovascular aneurysm repair, and the radiation doses were compared with those of a standard triple-phase protocol. Both virtual unenhanced and arterial images were generated with dual-energy CT. Images were reviewed clinically for detection of endoleaks and evaluation of stent and calcium appearance. The aortic luminal attenuation on virtual unenhanced CT images was compared with that on previously acquired true unenhanced images. Virtual unenhanced, arterial, and venous images were compared for thrombus attenuation. Single-energy CT and dual-energy CT images were compared for noise.


Replacement of two (unenhanced, arterial) of three single-energy CT acquisitions with one dual-energy CT acquisition resulted in 31% radiation dose savings. All images were clinically interpretable. Thoracic (32 +/- 2 vs 35 +/- 4 HU) and abdominal (30 +/- 3 vs 35 +/- 5 HU) aortic attenuation was similar on virtual unenhanced and true unenhanced images. Thrombus attenuation was similar on virtual unenhanced (32 +/- 6 HU), arterial phase (33 +/- 7 HU), and venous phase (34 +/- 6 HU) images. Decreased stent and calcium attenuation was observed at some locations on virtual unenhanced images. Noise in the thoracic (10 +/- 1 HU) and abdominal (12 +/- 2 HU) aorta was lower on virtual unenhanced images than on true unenhanced images (13 +/- 4 HU, 19 +/- 5 HU). Noise was comparable for dual-energy and single-energy CT (thorax, 16 +/- 2 vs 13 +/- 2 HU; abdomen, 21 +/- 3 vs 23 +/- 5 HU).


Virtual unenhanced and arterial phase images derived from dual-energy CT can replace true unenhanced and arterial phase single-energy CT images in follow-up after endovascular aneurysm repair (except immediately after the procedure), providing comparable diagnostic information with substantial dose savings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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