Investigation of the Effect of kV Combinations on Image Quality for Virtual Monochromatic Imaging Using Dual-Energy CT: A Phantom Study

  • Jeon, Pil-Hyun (Department of Radiology, Wonju Severance Christian Hospital) ;
  • Chung, Heejun (Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control) ;
  • Kim, Daehong (Department of Radiological Science, College of Health Science, Eulji University)
  • Received : 2017.11.06
  • Accepted : 2017.12.19
  • Published : 2018.03.31


Background: In this study, we investigate the image quality of virtual monochromatic images synthesized from dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) at voltages of 80/140 kV and 100/140 kV. Materials and Methods: Virtual monochromatic images of a phantom are synthesized from DECT scans from 40 to 70 keV in steps of 1 keV under the two combinations of tube voltages. The dose allocation of dual-energy (DE) scan is 50% for both low- and high-energy tubes. The virtual monochromatic images are compared to single-energy (SE) images at the same radiation dose. In the DE images, noise is reduced using the 100/140 kV scan at the optimal monochromatic energy. Virtual monochromatic images are reconstructed from 40 to 70 keV in 1-keV increments and analyzed using two quality indexes: noise and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). Results and Discussion: The DE scan mode with the 100/140 kV protocol achieved a better maximum CNR compared to the 80/140 kV protocol for various materials, except for adipose and brain. Image noise is reduced with the 100/140 kV protocol. The CNR values of DE with the 100/140 kV protocol is similar to or higher than that of SE at 120 kV at the same radiation dose. Furthermore, the maximum CNR with the 100/140 kV protocol is similar to or higher than that of the SE scan at 120 kV. Conclusion: It was found that the CNR achieved with the 100/140 kV protocol was better than that with the 80/140 kV protocol at optimal monochromatic energies. Virtual monochromatic imaging using the 100/140 kV protocol could be considered for application in breast, brain, lung, liver, and bone CT in accordance with the CNR results.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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