Dual energy CT - How to best blend both energies in one fused image?

Christian Eusemann, David R. Holmes, Bernhard Schmidt, Thomas G. Flohr, Richard Robb, Cynthia McCollough, David M. Hough, James E. Huprich, Michael Wittmer, Hassan Siddiki, Joel G. Fletcher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations


In x-ray based imaging, attenuation depends on the type of tissue scanned and the average energy level of the x-ray beam, which can be adjusted via the x-ray tube potential. Conventional computed tomography (CT) imaging uses a single kV value, usually 120kV. Dual energy CT uses two different tube potentials (e.g. 80kV & 140kV) to obtain two image datasets with different attenuation characteristics. This difference in attenuation levels allows for classification of the composition of the tissues. In addition, the different energies significantly influence the contrast resolution and noise characteristics of the two image datasets. 80kV images provide greater contrast resolution than 140kV, but are limited because of increased noise. While dual-energy CT may provide useful clinical information, the question arises as to how to best realize and visualize this benefit. In conventional single energy CT, patient image data is presented to the physicians using well understood organ specific window and level settings. Instead of viewing two data series (one for each tube potential), the images are most often fused into a single image dataset using a linear mixing of the data with a 70% 140kV and a 30% 80kV mixing ratio, as available on one commercial systems. This ratio provides a reasonable representation of the anatomy/pathology, however due to the linear nature of the blending, the advantages of each dataset (contrast or sharpness) is partially offset by its drawbacks (blurring or noise). This project evaluated a variety of organ specific linear and non-linear mixing algorithms to optimize the blending of the low and high kV information for display in a way that combines the benefits (contrast and sharpness) of both energies in a single image. A blinded review analysis by subspecialty abdominal radiologists found that, unique, tunable, non-linear mixing algorithms that we developed outperformed linear, fixed mixing for a variety of different organs and pathologies of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2008 - Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
StatePublished - 2008
EventMedical Imaging 2008 - Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 17 2008Feb 19 2008

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2008 - Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Abdominal procedures
  • Other - dual energy visualization
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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