To assess the effect of iodine attenuation on pulmonary nodule volumetry using virtual non-contrast (VNC) and mono-energetic reconstructions.
A consecutive series of patients who underwent a contrast-enhanced chest CT scan were included. Images were acquired on a novel dual-layer spectral CT system. Conventional reconstructions as well as VNC and mono-energetic images at different keV levels were used for nodule volumetry.
Twenty-four patients with a total of 63 nodules were included. Conventional reconstructions showed a median (interquartile range) volume and diameter of 174 (87 – 253) mm 3 and 6.9 (5.4 – 9.9) mm, respectively. VNC reconstructions resulted in a significant volume reduction of 5.5% (2.6 – 11.2%; p<0.001). Mono-energetic reconstructions showed a correlation between nodule attenuation and nodule volume (Spearman correlation 0.77, (0.49 – 0.94)). Lowering the keV resulted in increased volumes while higher keV levels resulted in decreased pulmonary nodule volumes compared to conventional CT.
Novel dual-layer spectral CT offers the possibility to reconstruct VNC and mono-energetic images. Those reconstructions show that higher pulmonary nodule attenuation results in larger nodule volumes. This may explain the reported underestimation in nodule volume on non-contrast enhanced compared to contrast-enhanced acquisitions.
• Pulmonary nodule volumes were measured on virtual non-contrast and mono-energetic reconstructions
• Mono-energetic reconstructions showed that higher attenuation results in larger volumes
• This may explain the reported nodule volume underestimation on non-contrast enhanced CT
• Mostly metastatic pulmonary nodules were evaluated, results might differ for benign nodules