Toward biphasic computed tomography (CT) enteric contrast: Material classification of luminal bismuth and mural iodine in a small-bowel phantom using dual-energy CT

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OBJECTIVE: To develop dual-energy computed tomography methods for identification of hyperenhancing, hypoenhancing, and nonenhancing small-bowel pathologies. METHODS: Small-bowel phantoms simulating varying patient sizes and polyp types (hyperenhancing, hypoenhancing, and nonenhancing) contained bismuth suspension in the lumen. Dual-energy CT was performed at 80/140 kV and 100/140 kV. Computed tomographic number ratios (CT numbers at low/high kilovoltage) were calculated. Two radiologists evaluated polyp detection and conspicuity using bismuth-only, iodine-only, iodine-overlay, and mixed-kilovoltage displays. RESULTS: Computed tomographic ratios for bismuth and iodine did not overlap. For hyperenhancing and nonenhancing polyps at 80/140 kV, iodine-overlay display yielded higher detection rate (96%, 94%) and conspicuity score (3.5, 3.1) than mixed-kilovoltage images (88%, 68%; 1.5, 2.7). Mixed-kV images performed slightly better for hypoenhancing polyps (92%, 3.4 vs. <80%, <2.9). Similar results were observed at 100/140kV. CONCLUSIONS: Dual-energy CT and a bismuth-containing enteric contrast permitted simultaneous identification of hyperenhancing, hypoenhancing, and nonenhancing polyps over a range of patient sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-559
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012



  • CT enteric contrast
  • CT enterography
  • dual-energy CT
  • small-bowel mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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