Original Article

Advanced Noise-Optimized Dual-Energy Virtual Monochromatic Imaging vs. Conventional 120-kVp CT Imaging: Image Quality Assessment


Purpose: This study aimed at evaluating the image quality characteristics of advanced noise-optimized and traditional virtual monochromatic images compared with conventional 120-kVp images from second-generation Dual-Source CT.

Materials and Methods: For spiral scans six syringes filled with diluted iodine contrast material (1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 mg I/ml) were inserted into the test phantom and scanned with a second-generation dual-source CT in both single-energy (120-kVp) and dual-energy modes. Images set contain conventional single-energy 120-kVp, and virtual monochromatic were reconstructed with energies ranging from 40 to 190-keV in 1-keV steps. An energy-domain noise reduction algorithm was applied and the mean CT number, image noise, and iodine CNR were calculated.

Results: The iodine CT number of conventional 120-kVp images compared with monochromatic of 40-, 50-, 60- and 70-keV images showed increase. The improvement ratio of image noise on Advanced Virtual Monochromatic Images (AVMIs) compared with the Traditional Virtual Monochromatic Images (TVMIs) at energies of 40-, 50-, 60, 70-keV was 52.9%, 35.7%, 8.1%, 2.1%, respectively. At AVMIs from 75- to 190-keV, the image noise value was less than conventional 120-kVp images. CNR improvement ratio at 20 mg/ml of iodinated contrast material for TVMIs and AVMIs compared to 120-kVp CT images and AVMIs compared to TVMI was 18.3% and 56.3%, 32.1% respectively.

Conclusion: Both TVMIs (in energies ranging from 54 to 71-keV) and AVMIs (in energies ranging from 40 to 74-keV) represent improvement in the iodine contrast-to-noise ratio than conventional 120-kVp CT images for the same radiation dose. Also, AVMIs compared to TVMIs have been obtained considerable noise reduction and CNR improvement for low-energy virtual monochromatic images. In the present study, we show that virtual monochromatic image and its Advanced version (AVMI) may boost the dual-energy CT advantages by providing higher CNR images in the same exposure value compared to routinely acquired single-energy CT images.

IssueVol 8 No 4 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/fbt.v8i4.7753
Dual-Source Computed Tomography Dual Energy Computed Tomography Advanced Virtual Monochromatic Images Traditional Virtual Monochromatic Images Contrast-to-Noise Ratio

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How to Cite
Honardari A, Bitarafan-Rajabi A, Solgi R, Shakeri M, Rezaei-Kalantari K, Ghadiri H. Advanced Noise-Optimized Dual-Energy Virtual Monochromatic Imaging vs. Conventional 120-kVp CT Imaging: Image Quality Assessment. Frontiers Biomed Technol. 2021;8(4):253-260.