Dual-energy CT: Lower limits of iodine detection and quantification

Megan C. Jacobsen, Erik N.K. Cressman, Eric P. Tamm, Dodge L. Baluya, Xinhui Duan, Dianna D. Cody, Dawid Schellingerhout, Rick R. Layman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background: Assessments of the quantitative limitations among the six commercially available dual-energy (DE) CT acquisition schemes used by major CT manufacturers could aid researchers looking to use iodine quantification as an imaging biomarker. Purpose: To determine the limits of detection and quantification of DE CT in phantoms by comparing rapid peak kilovoltage switching, dual-source, split-filter, and dual-layer detector systems in six different scanners. Materials and Methods: Seven 50-mL iohexol solutions were used, with concentrations of 0.03-2.0 mg iodine per milliliter. The solutions and water sample were scanned five times each in two phantoms (small, 20-cm diameter; large, 30 3 40-cm diameter) with six DE CT systems and a total of 10 peak kilovoltage settings or combinations. Iodine maps were created, and the mean iodine signal in each sample was recorded. The limit of blank (LOB) was defined as the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval of the water sample. The limit of detection (LOD) was defined as the concentration with a 95% chance of having a signal above the LOB. The limit of quantification (LOQ) was defined as the lowest concentration where the coefficient of variation was less than 20%. Results: The LOD range was 0.021-0.26 mg/mL in the small phantom and 0.026-0.55 mg/mL in the large phantom. The LOQ range was 0.07-0.50 mg/mL in the small phantom and 0.20-1.0 mg/mL in the large phantom. The dual-source and rapid peak kilovoltage switching systems had the lowest LODs, and the dual-layer detector systems had the highest LODs. Conclusion: The iodine limit of detection using dual-energy CT systems varied with scanner and phantom size, but all systems depicted iodine in the small and large phantoms at or below 0.3 and 0.5 mg/mL, respectively, and enabled quantification at concentrations of 0.5 and 1.0 mg/mL, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-419
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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