Use of dual-energy CT and virtual non-calcium techniques to evaluate post-traumatic bone bruises in knees in the subacute setting

Songtao Ai, Mingliang Qu, Katrina N. Glazebrook, Yu Liu, Peter C. Rhee, Shuai Leng, Cynthia H. McCollough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) and virtual non-calcium (VNCa) imaging to detect magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-demonstrated bone bruises several weeks after unilateral knee injury. Materials and methods: Patients with unilateral knee injury and MRI-confirmed bone bruises who had undergone a DECT scan of both knees were retrospectively identified. Two radiologists evaluated VNCa images for bruises in four regions per knee without knowing the MRI results. The mean CT numbers were calculated for the lesion-positive and lesion-negative regions of the injured knee, and the contralateral knee. Results: Fourteen patients with a total of 36 regions positive for bone bruises on MRI were identified. The median delay between injury and DECT was 37 days (range, 11-99 days). The mean CT numbers in VNCa images for lesion-positive and lesion-negative regions were -7.6±24.9 HU and -58.2±19.5 HU, respectively. There were no significant differences in mean CT number between the lesion-negative regions in the injured knee and the contralateral knee. No resolution of bruising was seen before week 5, and bone bruising was still identifiable in one out of the two patients scanned at 10 weeks following injury. Conclusions: DECT and VNCa images can identify bone bruising for at least 10 weeks after injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1295
Number of pages7
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014



  • ACL
  • Bone bruise
  • Computed tomography
  • Dual energy
  • Knee
  • Ligament tear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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