Improved sensitivity and reader confidence in CT colonography using dual-Layer spectral CT: A phantom study

Markus M. Obmann, Chansik An, Amanda Schaefer, Yuxin Sun, Zhen J. Wang, Judy Yee, Benjamin M. Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Limited cathartic preparations for CT colonography with fecal tagging can improve patient comfort but may result in nondiagnostic examinations from poorly tagged stool. Dual-energy CT may overcome this limitation by improving the conspicuity of the contrast agent, but more data are needed. Purpose: To investigate whether dual-energy CT improves polyp detection in CT colonography compared with conventional CT at different fecal tagging levels in vitro. Materials and Methods: In this HIPAA-compliant study, between December 2017 and August 2019, a colon phantom 30 cm in diameter containing 60 polyps of different shapes (spherical, ellipsoid, flat) and size groups (5–9 mm, 11–15 mm) was constructed and serially filled with simulated feces tagged with four different iodine concentrations (1.26, 2.45, 4.88, and 21.00 mg of iodine per milliliter), then it was scanned with dual-energy CT with and without an outer fat ring to simulate large body size (total diameter, 42 cm). Two readers independently reviewed conventional 120-kVp CT and 40-keV monoenergetic dual-energy CT images to record the presence of polyps and confidence (three-point scale.) Generalized estimating equations were used for sensitivity comparisons between conventional CT and dual-energy CT, and a Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for reader confidence. Results: Dual-energy CT had higher overall sensitivity for polyp detection than conventional CT (58.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 49.7%, 67.3%; 564 of 960 polyps vs 42.1%; 95% CI: 32.1%, 52.8%; 404 of 960 polyps; P , .001), including with the fat ring (48% and 31%, P , .001). Reader confidence improved with dual-energy CT compared with conventional images on all tagging levels (P , .001). Interrater agreement was substantial (k = 0.74; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.77). Conclusion: Compared with conventional 120-kVp CT, dual-energy CT improved polyp detection and reader confidence in a dedicated dual-energy CT colonography phantom, especially with suboptimal fecal tagging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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