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Acad Radiol. 2009 Feb;16(2):200-8. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2008.08.002.

Quantitative measurement of iodine concentration in the liver using abdominal C-arm computed tomography.

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Russell H Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, JHOC, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



C-arm computed tomography is an option on a C-arm angiographic system capable of acquiring projections while rotating the C-arm around the patient and reconstructing cross-sectional images with improved contrast resolution of 5 to 10 Hounsfield units. Typical abdominal C-arm computed tomographic (CCT) images, however, exhibit artifacts with spatially varying and drifting pixel values. Considering liver tumor oncologic procedures, the aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of liver iodine concentration (IC) estimated from CCT images under such challenging conditions.


The proposed method estimates the IC in a region of interest (ROI) using pixel values of CCT images measured at the ROI and a nonenhanced background. Two approaches to measure the background value were tested: one approach, L-BG, measured a corresponding local background value near each ROI, and the other, G-BG, used one global background value for the entire object. The accuracy of estimations using CCT and computed tomographic scanners was evaluated; an elliptical cylinder water phantom with iodine solution inserts and seven patient data sets with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization were used.


With the least "truncation" (the edge of the object being outside the field of view) of 27 mm, the IC was accurately estimated with CCT images (n = 9; root-mean-square error [RMSE], 1.60-1.63 mg/mL; normalized RMSE, 11.8%; r(2) = 0.97; P < .001), with the true concentration ranging from 2.32 to 31.82 mg/mL. With truncations of up to 100 mm (n = 88), the estimation by L-BG remained accurate independent of the amount of truncation (RMSE, 1.58 mg/mL; normalized RMSE, 12.5%; r(2) = 0.06; P = .02), whereas the estimation by G-BG reduced the accuracy (RMSE, 4.61 mg/mL; normalized RMSE, 34.3%; r(2) = 0.10; P = .003). Clinical data (n = 37) showed that the estimation from CCT images using the L-BG method agreed well with that from computed tomographic images (RMSE, 2.86 mg/mL; normalized RMSE, 38.7%; r(2) = 0.76; P < .001).


The liver IC can be accurately estimated with abdominal CCT images.

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