Korean J Radiol.  2021 Jun;22(6):951-958. 10.3348/kjr.2020.0677.

Virtual Monochromatic Image Quality from Dual-Layer Dual-Energy Computed Tomography for Detecting Brain Tumors

  • 1All authors: Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan


To evaluate the usefulness of virtual monochromatic images (VMIs) obtained using dual-layer dual-energy CT (DL-DECT) for evaluating brain tumors.
Materials and Methods
This retrospective study included 32 patients with brain tumors who had undergone non-contrast head CT using DL-DECT. Among them, 15 had glioblastoma (GBM), 7 had malignant lymphoma, 5 had high-grade glioma other than GBM, 3 had low-grade glioma, and 2 had metastatic tumors. Conventional polychromatic images and VMIs (40–200 keV at 10 keV intervals) were generated. We compared CT attenuation, image noise, contrast, and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) between tumor and white matter (WM) or grey matter (GM) between VMIs showing the highest CNR (optimized VMI) and conventional CT images using the paired t test. Two radiologists subjectively assessed the contrast, margin, noise, artifact, and diagnostic confidence of optimized VMIs and conventional images on a 4-point scale.
The image noise of VMIs at all energy levels tested was significantly lower than that of conventional CT images (p < 0.05). The 40-keV VMIs yielded the best CNR. Furthermore, both contrast and CNR between the tumor and WM were significantly higher in the 40 keV images than in the conventional CT images (p < 0.001); however, the contrast and CNR between tumor and GM were not significantly different (p = 0.47 and p = 0.31, respectively). The subjective scores assigned to contrast, margin, and diagnostic confidence were significantly higher for 40 keV images than for conventional CT images (p < 0.01).
In head CT for patients with brain tumors, compared with conventional CT images, 40 keV VMIs from DL-DECT yielded superior tumor contrast and diagnostic confidence, especially for brain tumors located in the WM.


Brain neoplasms; Tomography; X-ray computed; Radiography; Dual-energy scanned projection; Image enhancement
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