Skip Navigation LinksHome > November 2010 - Volume 25 - Issue 4 > Dual-energy Computed Tomography Imaging of the Aorta
Journal of Thoracic Imaging:
doi: 10.1097/RTI.0b013e3181dc2b4c

Dual-energy Computed Tomography Imaging of the Aorta

Vlahos, Ioannis BSc, MBBS MRCP, FRCR*,†; Godoy, Myrna C.B. MD*; Naidich, David P. MD*

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There are 2 inseparable and complimentary technical advantages of dual-energy computed tomography (CT) imaging of the thoracic aorta. One advantage stems from the simultaneous availability of low and high peak kilovoltage (kVp) spectra data and, in particular, the benefits conferred by the improved conspicuity of iodinated contrast media at lower kVp CT imaging. This, in turn, permits improved aortic visualization or, alternatively, reduction in the volume or rate of contrast administration. Image noise at low kilovoltage does not appear to be a significant issue, with the backup availability of simultaneously acquired high kVp images a distinct advantage over single, low kVp imaging techniques. The second advantage of dual-energy CT imaging stems from the potential to calculate material-specific images derived mathematically from the simultaneous availability of attenuation measurements at 2 distinct energies. These material-specific data sets include virtual noncontrast images, virtual contrast, or “bone-subtracted” angiographic-like images. These techniques may confer significant advantages in the evaluation of patients with aortic disease, improving interpretation and reducing reconstruction time, while potentially reducing the need for, and associated radiation burden of, precontrast or postcontrast multiphasic imaging.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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