Rationale and Objectives: To compare in dual-energy CT (DECT) conventionally reconstructed polyenergetic images (PEI) at 120 kVp to virtual monoenergetic images (MEI) at different kiloelectron volt (keV) levels for evaluation of liver and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) hepatic metastases with regard to objective (IQob) and subjective image quality (IQsub) assessed by two readers of varying experience. Image quality was correlated to patient size and compared between PEI and MEI. Materials and Methods: From 50 examinations of 17 GIST patients (12 with hepatic metastases) undergoing abdominal dual-source DECT for staging, therapy monitoring or follow-up, PEI and nine MEI in 10-keV intervals from 40 to 120keV were reconstructed. Liver contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) and metastasis-to-liver ratios were calculated. MEI reconstructions with the highest IQob were compared to PEI for IQsub by one experienced reader (ER) and one inexperienced reader (IR). Patients' diameters were correlated to IQob and IQsub ratings. Results: MEI at 70keV had the highest IQob with equal liver CNR and metastasis-to-liver ratio compared to PEI. The ER rated 70-keV MEI and PEI equally high (median 4), whereas the IR rated IQsub best in 70-keV MEI (median 5). Unlike in PEI, IQsub ratings in 70-keV MEI were not correlated to patient size. Conclusions: MEI at 70keV provided an IQob equivalent to PEI. Regarding the IR, IQsub was improved in 70-keV MEI compared to PEI and less dependent on patient size. Therefore, IRs might improve their diagnostic confidence in the assessment of hepatic GIST metastases by evaluating MEI reconstructions at 70keV.
- Dual-energy CT
- Dual-source CT
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumor
- Hepatic metastasis
- Virtual monoenergetic imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging