Value of monoenergetic low-kV dual energy CT datasets for improved image quality of CT pulmonary angiography

Paul Apfaltrer, Sonja Sudarski, David Schneider, John W. Nance, Holger Haubenreisser, Christian Fink, Stefan O. Schoenberg, Thomas Henzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Purpose High vessel attenuation and high contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) are prerequisites for high diagnostic confidence in CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA). This study evaluated the impact of calculated monoenergetic dual-energy (DE) CTPA datasets on vessel attenuation and CNR. Materials and methods 50 Patients (24 men, mean age 68 ± 14 years) who underwent DE-CTPA were retrospectively included in this study. The 80 and 140-kV DE polyenergetic image data were used to calculate virtual monoenergetic image datasets in 10 kiloelectron volt (keV) increments from 40 to 120 keV. Vessel and soft tissue attenuation and image noise were measured in various regions of interest and the CNR was subsequently calculated. Differences in vessel attenuation and CNR were compared between the different monoenergetic datasets. The best monoenergetic dataset was then compared to the standard 120-kV polyenergetic dataset. Results Vessel attenuation and CNR of 70-keV CTPA datasets were superior to all other monoenergetic image datasets (all p < 0.05). 70-keV monoenergetic datasets provided a statistically significant 12% increase in mean vessel attenuation compared to standard 120-kV polyenergetic datasets (384 ± 117 HU vs. 342 ± 106 HU, respectively; p < 0.0001) and a statistically significant 18% increase in mean CNR (29 ± 13 vs. 24± 11 respectively; p < 0.0001). Conclusion Virtual 70-keV monoenergetic CTPA image datasets significantly increase vessel attenuation and CNR of DE-CTPA studies, suggesting that clinical application of low-keV monoenergetic reconstructions may allow a decrease in the amount of iodinated contrast required for adequate image quality in DE-CTPA examinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • CT-angiography
  • Dual-energy CT
  • Dual-source CT
  • Monoenergetic imaging
  • Pulmonary embolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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