Impact of dual-energy 50-keV virtual monoenergetic images on radiologist confidence in detection of key imaging findings of small hepatocellular carcinomas using multiphase liver CT

Benjamin A. Voss, Ashish Khandelwal, Michael Wells, Akitoshi Inoue, Sudhakar K Venkatesh, Yong S. Lee, Matthew P. Johnson, Joel Garland Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Dual-energy virtual monoenergetic images can increase iodine signal, potentially increasing the conspicuity of hepatic masses. Purpose: To determine if dual-energy 50-keV virtual monoenergetic images improve visualization of key imaging findings or diagnostic confidence for small (≤2 cm) hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) at multiphase, contrast-enhanced liver computed tomography (CT). Material and Methods: Patients with chronic liver disease underwent multiphase dual-energy CT imaging for HCC, with late arterial and delayed phase dual-energy 50-keV images reconstructed. Two non-reader subspecialized gastrointestinal (GI) radiologists established the reference standard, determining the location and diagnosis of all hepatic lesions using predetermined criteria. Three GI radiologists interpreted mixed kV CT images without or with dual-energy 50-keV images. Radiologists identified potential HCCs and rated their confidence (0–100 scales) in imaging findings of arterial enhancement, enhancing capsule, tumor washout, and LI-RADS 5 (2018) category. Results: In total, 45 patients (14 women; mean age = 59.5 ± 10.9 years) with chronic liver disease were included. Of them, 19 patients had 25 HCCs ≤2 cm (mean size = 1.5 ± 0.4 cm). There were 17 LI-RADS 3 and 4 lesions and 19 benign lesions. Reader confidence in imaging findings of arterial enhancement, enhancing capsule, and non-peripheral washout significantly increased with dual-energy images (P ≤ 0.022). Overall confidence in HCC diagnosis increased significantly with dual-energy 50-keV images (52.4 vs. 68.8; P = 0.001). Dual-energy images demonstrated a slight but significant decrease in overall image quality. Conclusion: Radiologist confidence in key imaging features of small HCCs and confidence in imaging diagnosis increases with use of dual-energy 50-keV images at multiphase, contrast-enhanced liver CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalActa Radiologica
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • carcinoma
  • dual-energy scanned projection/methods
  • hepatocellular/diagnosis
  • liver cirrhosis
  • radiography
  • X-ray computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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