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Br J Radiol. 2012 May;85(1013):613-22. doi: 10.1259/bjr/67661352. Epub 2011 Jul 26.

Acute and subacute dual energy CT findings of pulmonary embolism in rabbits: correlation with histopathology.

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  • 1Department of Medical Imaging, Jinling Hospital, Clinical School of Medical College, Nanjing University, Jiangsu, China.



The purpose of this study was to describe quantitative dual energy CT (DECT) findings and their accuracy in the detection of acute and subacute pulmonary embolism (PE) in rabbits.


Pulmonary emboli were created in 24 rabbits by gelatin sponge femoral vein injection. Conventional CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) and DECT were obtained at either 2 h, 1 day, 3 days or 7 days after embolisation (n=6 rabbits for each time point). The location and number of PEs in the different stages were recorded at CTPA and iodine maps from DECT on a per-lobe basis. With histopathology as the reference standard, sensitivity and specificity of CTPA and DECT were calculated. CT and iodine map overlay values of the embolic and non-embolic areas were measured for each scan.


With histopathology as the reference standard, the overall sensitivity and specificity of CTPA were 98% and 100% and those of iodine maps were 100% and 95%, respectively. Conventional CT and iodine map values of the embolised and non-embolised areas were significantly different between 2 h and 1 day (p<0.001), but not between 3 days and 7 days (p>0.05). A statistical difference was found for overlay values measured in the embolic and non-embolic regions for four groups.


Iodine maps derived from DECT show alterations in lung perfusion for acute and subacute PE in an experimental rabbit model and show comparable sensitivity for PE detection and conventional CTPA.

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