Dual energy imaging in cardiothoracic pathologies: A primer for radiologists and clinicians

Amit Gupta, Elias G. Kikano, Kaustav Bera, Dhiraj Baruah, Sachin S. Saboo, Simon Lennartz, Nils Große Hokamp, Ali Gholamrezanezhad, Robert C. Gilkeson, Kai R. Laukamp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Recent advances in dual-energy imaging techniques, dual-energy subtraction radiography (DESR) and dual-energy CT (DECT), offer new and useful additional information to conventional imaging, thus improving assessment of cardiothoracic abnormalities. DESR facilitates detection and characterization of pulmonary nodules. Other advantages of DESR include better depiction of pleural, lung parenchymal, airway and chest wall abnormalities, detection of foreign bodies and indwelling devices, improved visualization of cardiac and coronary artery calcifications helping in risk stratification of coronary artery disease, and diagnosing conditions like constrictive pericarditis and valvular stenosis. Commercially available DECT approaches are classified into emission based (dual rotation/spin, dual source, rapid kilovoltage switching and split beam) and detector-based (dual layer) systems. DECT provide several specialized image reconstructions. Virtual non-contrast images (VNC) allow for radiation dose reduction by obviating need for true non contrast images, low energy virtual mono-energetic images (VMI) boost contrast enhancement and help in salvaging otherwise non-diagnostic vascular studies, high energy VMI reduce beam hardening artifacts from metallic hardware or dense contrast material, and iodine density images allow quantitative and qualitative assessment of enhancement/iodine distribution. The large amount of data generated by DECT can affect interpreting physician efficiency but also limit clinical adoption of the technology. Optimization of the existing workflow and streamlining the integration between post-processing software and picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is therefore warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100324
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology Open
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Dual energy CT
  • Dual energy radiography
  • Photoelectric effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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