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    July 01, 2014

    Donations to the RSNA Research & Education Foundation fuel the research and development that keep radiology in the forefront of medicine. Learn more at RSNA.org/Foundation.

    Beyond Black and White: Color Enhanced Multi-Material Decomposition of Complementary Contrast at Dual-energy CT Scanning (DECT)

    R and E Foundation logoWith recent improvements in dual-energy computed tomographic (DECT) technology, the next logical steps are to extend the dual contrast DECT technique to human subjects and develop novel algorithms that can better visualize and differentiate between two contrast agents.

    RSNA Research Medical Student Grant recipient and doctoral candidate Margaret Wong, B.S., M.Eng., under the scientific guidance of past Research Seed Grant recipient Benjamin M. Yeh, M.D., professor of radiology, University of California, San Francisco, has optimized dual energy CT software to allow vivid separation and display of three different materials and soft tissue.

    “Multi-‘colored’ contrast decomposition is a superior way to appreciate the rich information obtained at dual contrast DECT scanning,” Wong said. “We showed that, when compared to grayscale two- and three-material decomposition, the addition of novel color-enhanced material decomposition substantially improved reader confidence, speed and quality of material separation when viewed in conjunction with conventional CT images. We also showed that our novel three-material decomposition algorithm can quantitatively measure concentration contrast.”

    “Potentially, this technique could lead to improved detection of disease, amplify the benefit of reduced radiation dose from multiphase dual-contrast DECT over multiple-scan CT, and aid in the differentiation of enteric versus intravenous contrast,” Dr. Yeh said. “Studies are currently underway to further develop color CT, multi-contrast imaging and new and urgently needed contrast materials with less toxicity.”

    Color-Enhanced Four-Material Decomposition DECT
    Color-Enhanced Four-Material Decomposition in a rabbit with iodinated IV, novel tungsten PO, and gadolinium injected in the bladder. All contrast appears white or gray in conventional CT (left). In comparison, the three contrast materials are easily differentiated on the color-enhanced DECT. (right) The stark yellow of the gadolinium in the bladder is easily differentiated from the green bismuth in the stomach and bowel. Iodinated contrast provides anatomic detail of the vasculature, bowel wall and hepatic parenchyma. Soft tissue is displayed in blue.
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