Dual-energy CT: a phantom comparison of different platforms for abdominal imaging

Thorsten Sellerer, Peter B. Noël, Manuel Patino, Anushri Parakh, Sebastian Ehn, Sascha Zeiter, Jasmin A. Holz, Johannes Hammel, Alexander A. Fingerle, Franz Pfeiffer, David Maintz, Ernst J. Rummeny, Daniela Muenzel, Dushyant V. Sahani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Objectives: Evaluation of imaging performance across dual-energy CT (DECT) platforms, including dual-layer CT (DLCT), rapid-kVp-switching CT (KVSCT) and dual-source CT (DSCT). Methods: A semi-anthropomorphic abdomen phantom was imaged on these DECT systems. Scans were repeated three times for CTDIvol levels of 10 mGy, 20 mGy, 30 mGy and different fat-simulating extension rings. Over the available range of virtual-monoenergetic images (VMI), noise as well as quantitative accuracy of hounsfield units (HU) and iodine concentrations were evaluated. Results: For all VMI levels, HU values could be determined with high accuracy compared to theoretical values. For KVSCT and DSCT, a noise increase was observed towards lower VMI levels. A patient-size dependent increase in the uncertainty of quantitative iodine concentrations is observed for all platforms. For a medium patient size the iodine concentration root-mean-square deviation at 20 mGy is 0.17 mg/ml (DLCT), 0.30 mg/ml (KVSCT) and 0.77mg/ml (DSCT). Conclusion: Noticeable performance differences are observed between investigated DECT systems. Iodine concentrations and VMI HUs are accurately determined across all DECT systems. KVSCT and DLCT deliver slightly more accurate iodine concentration values than DSCT for investigated scenarios. In DLCT, low-noise and high-image contrast at low VMI levels may help to increase diagnostic information in abdominal CT. Key Points: • Current dual-energy CT platforms provide accurate, reliable quantitative information. • Dual-energy CT cross-platform evaluation revealed noticeable performance differences between different systems. • Dual-layer CT offers constant noise levels over the complete energy range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2745-2755
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Comparative study
  • Computed tomography, X-ray
  • Iodine
  • Quantitative evaluation
  • Radiologic phantom


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