Purpose: To investigate the image quality characteristics for virtual monoenergetic images compared with conventional tube-voltage image with dual-layer spectral CT (DLCT). Methods: Helical scans were performed using a first-generation DLCT scanner, two different sizes of acrylic cylindrical phantoms, and a Catphan phantom. Three different iodine concentrations were inserted into the phantom center. The single-tube voltage for obtaining virtual monoenergetic images was set to 120 or 140 kVp. Conventional 120- and 140-kVp images and virtual monoenergetic images (40–200-keV images) were reconstructed from slice thicknesses of 1.0 mm. The CT number and image noise were measured for each iodine concentration and water on the 120-kVp images and virtual monoenergetic images. The noise power spectrum (NPS) was also calculated. Results: The iodine CT numbers for the iodinated enhancing materials were similar regardless of phantom size and acquisition method. Compared with the iodine CT numbers of the conventional 120-kVp images, those for the monoenergetic 40-, 50-, and 60-keV images increased by approximately 3.0-, 1.9-, and 1.3-fold, respectively. The image noise values for each virtual monoenergetic image were similar (for example, 24.6 HU at 40 keV and 23.3 HU at 200 keV obtained at 120 kVp and 30-cm phantom size). The NPS curves of the 70-keV and 120-kVp images for a 1.0-mm slice thickness over the entire frequency range were similar. Conclusion: Virtual monoenergetic images represent stable image noise over the entire energy spectrum and improved the contrast-to-noise ratio than conventional tube voltage using the dual-layer spectral detector CT.
- Different object sizes
- Dual-layer spectral detector CT
- Image quality
- Virtual monoenergetic image
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Physics and Astronomy(all)