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Exp Ther Med. 2014 Sep;8(3):907-912. Epub 2014 Jun 27.

Quantitative assessment of iron in heart and liver phantoms using dual-energy computed tomography.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, National Cheng-Kung University College of Medicine and Hospital, Tainan 704, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Department of Pediatrics, National Cheng-Kung University College of Medicine and Hospital, Tainan 704, Taiwan, R.O.C.


The aim of the present study was to determine the correlation between dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) Hounsfield units (HU) and iron concentration, as well as the correlation between HU and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived R2* values, in phantoms of the heart and liver tissue. Phantoms were constructed containing pig heart or liver tissue and varying concentrations of iron (0.1, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 mg/ml). The phantoms were then examined by DECT and MRI. Linear regression analysis was used to determine the correlations between HU and iron concentration and HU and R2* values. The HU value of DECT increased with increasing iron concentrations in the liver and heart phantoms in a linear manner. The slope of the HU value change against iron concentration revealed that ΔH80-140 provided a better discernment of iron concentration as compared with ΔH100-140. The derived R2 values were all >0.9 for the associations of DECT and MRI measurements with iron concentrations. Therefore, DECT may be used for the determination of iron concentration in the liver and heart tissue, with the results correlating with those obtained with MRI.


Hounsfield units; dual-energy computed tomography; iron; magnetic resonance imaging; thalassemia

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