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Journal of computer assisted tomography

Dual-energy index value of luminal air in fecal-tagging computed tomography colonography: findings and impact on electronic cleansing.


PMID 23493207

Abstract

The purpose of our study was to measure the dual-energy index (DEI) value of colonic luminal air in both phantom and clinical fecal-tagging dual-energy computed tomography (CT) colonography (DE-CTC) images and to demonstrate its impact on dual-energy electronic cleansing. For the phantom study, a custom-ordered colon phantom was scanned by a dual-energy CT scanner (SOMATON Definition Flash; Siemens Healthcare, Forchheim, Germany) at two photon energies: 80 and 140 kVp. Before imaging, the phantom was filled with a 300-mL mixture of simulated fecal materials tagged by a nonionic iodinated contrast agent at three contrast concentrations: 20, 40, and 60 mg/mL. Ten regions-of-interest (ROIs) were randomly placed in each of the colonic luminal air, abdominal fat, bony structure, and tagged material in each scan. For the clinical study, 22 DE-CTC (80 and 140 kVp) patient cases were collected, who underwent a low-fiber, low-residue diet bowel preparation and orally administered iodine-based fecal tagging. Twenty ROIs were randomly placed in each of the colonic luminal air, abdominal fat, abdominal soft tissue, and tagged fecal material in each scan. For each ROI, the mean CT values in both 80- and 140-kVp images were measured, and then its DEI was calculated. In the phantom study, the mean DEI values of luminal air were 0.270, 0.298, 0.386, and 0.402 for the four groups of tagging conditions: no tagged material and tagged with three groups of contrast concentrations at 20, 40, and 60 mg/mL. In the clinical study, the mean DEI values were 0.341, -0.012, -0.002, and 0.188 for colonic luminal air, abdominal fat, abdominal soft tissue, and tagged fecal material, respectively. In our study, we observed that the DEI values of colonic luminal air in DE-CTC images (>0.10) were substantially higher than the theoretical value of 0.0063. In addition, the observed DEI values of colonic luminal air were significantly higher than those of soft tissue. These findings have an important impact on electronic cleansing: it may provide an effective means of differentiating colonic soft-tissue structures from the air-tagging mixture caused by the partial volume effect and thus of minimizing the cleansing artifacts.