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Optimization of image quality and accuracy of low iodine concentration quantification as function of kVp pairs for abdominal imaging using dual-source CT: A phantom study

Published:August 03, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmp.2021.07.008

      Highlights

      • The pair of kVp had an impact on the spectral performance of abdominal imaging.
      • 70/Sn150 kVp pair provides the best image quality at low iodine concentration.
      • 100/Sn150 kVp pair provides the best results for iodine quantification accuracy.
      • 70/Sn150 kVp is the suitable pair despite a lower iodine quantification accuracy.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To determine the suitable kVp pair for optimal image quality of the virtual monochromatic images (VMIs) and iodine quantification accuracy at low concentration, using a third generation dual-source CT (DSCT).

      Materials and methods

      Multi-energy CT phantoms with and without body rings were scanned with a DSCT using four kVp pairs (tube “A”/“B” voltage): 100/Sn150, 90/Sn150, 80/Sn150 and 70/Sn150 kVp. The reference mAs was adjusted to obtain a CTDIvol close to 11 mGy. HU values accuracy (RMSDHU), noise (SD) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of iodine inserts of 0.5, 1, 2 and 5 mg/mL concentrations were assessed on VMIs at 40/50/60/70 keV. Iodine quantification accuracy was assessed using the RMSDiodine and iodine bias (IBiodine).

      Results

      The RMSDHU decreased when the tube “A” voltage increased. The mean noise value increased significantly with tube “A” voltage (p < 0.001) but decreased between 80/Sn150 and 90/Sn150 kVp for the small phantom (1.1 ± 0.1%; p = 0.047). The CNR significantly decreased with tube “A” voltage (p < 0.001), except between 80/Sn150 and 90/Sn150 kVp for all inserts and between 90/Sn150 kVp and 100/Sn150 kVp for the 1.0 and 0.5 mg/mL inserts in the large phantom. In the small phantom, no significant difference was found between 80/Sn150 kVp and 90/Sn150 kVp for all inserts and between 80/Sn150, 90/Sn150 and 100/Sn150 kVp for the 1 and 0.5 mg/mL inserts. The RMSDiodine and IBiodine decreased as the tube “A” voltage of the kVp pair increased.

      Conclusion

      The kVp pair of 70/Sn150 led to better image quality in VMIs and sufficient iodine accuracy.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      CT (Computed Tomography), CTDIvol (Volume CT dose index), DECT (Dual-energy CT), DSCT (Dual-source CT), HU (Hounsfield Unit), IB (Iodine bias), RMSD (Root-mean square deviation), VMIs (Virtual monochromatic images), CNR (Contrast-to-noise ratio), SD (Standard deviation)
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