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Liver Iodine Quantification With Photon-Counting Detector CT: Accuracy in an Abdominal Phantom and Feasibility in Patients

      Rationale and Objectives

      To compare the accuracy of iodine quantification in liver parenchyma and lesions between dual-source photon-counting detector CT (PCD-CT) and dual-source energy-integrating detector CT (EID-CT) in a phantom and to demonstrate the feasibility of iodine quantification with PCD-CT in liver parenchyma and lesions in patients.

      Materials and Methods

      An anthropomorphic abdominal phantom with a liver insert containing parenchyma and lesions was imaged on a clinical PCD-CT at 120kV and in the dual-energy mode on an EID-CT with kV-combinations of 80/Sn150kV, 90/Sn150kV, and 100/Sn150kV. Three patient sizes were imaged at three different radiation doses (CTDIvol: 5, 10, 15mGy). Thirty patients with liver cysts, hemangiomas or metastases imaged with PCD-CT were retrospectively included. Iodine maps were reconstructed and iodine concentrations were measured in liver parenchyma and lesions. For the phantom, iodine error was quantified as the absolute difference to the vendor's specifications as reference.

      Results

      Overall iodine error was 0.33 ± 0.29, 0.34 ± 0.32, 0.39 ± 0.37, 0.35 ± 0.39 mgI/mL for 80/Sn150kV, 90/Sn150kV, 100/Sn150kV of EID-CT, and PCD-CT, respectively, without significant differences between PCD-CT and EID-CT (p > 0.05). Radiation dose did not significantly influence error of PCD-CT (p > 0.05) nor EID-CT (p > 0.05). For both scanners, smaller patient sizes were associated with lower errors (p < 0.05). Iodine concentration and base material attenuation significantly influenced quantification for EID-CT (p < 0.05) but not PCD-CT (p > 0.05). In patients, iodine quantification was feasible in liver parenchyma, cysts, hemangiomas, and metastases.

      Conclusion

      Iodine quantification with PCD-CT is accurate in simulated liver parenchyma and lesions irrespective of radiation dose, iodine concentration, and base attenuation and is feasible in common liver lesions in patients.

      Key Words

      Abbreviations:

      EID-CT (energy-integrating detector CT), DECT (dual-energy computed tomography), PCD-CT (photon-counting detector CT)
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