Dual-energy CT (DECT) imaging is a technique that extends the capabilities of CT beyond that of established densitometric evaluations. CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) performed with dual-energy technique benefits from both the availability of low kVp CT data and also the concurrent ability to quantify iodine enhancement in the lung parenchyma. Parenchymal enhancement, presented as pulmonary perfused blood volume maps, may be considered as a surrogate of pulmonary perfusion. These distinct capabilities have led to new opportunities in the evaluation of pulmonary vascular diseases. Dual-energy CTPA offers the potential for improvements in pulmonary emboli detection, diagnostic confidence, and most notably severity stratification. Furthermore, the appreciated insights of pulmonary vascular physiology conferred by DECT have resulted in increased use for the assessment of pulmonary hypertension, with particular utility in the subset of patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. With the increasing availability of dual energy-capable CT systems, dual energy CTPA is becoming a standard-of-care protocol for CTPA acquisition in acute PE. Furthermore, qualitative and quantitative pulmonary vascular DECT data heralds promise for the technique as a “one-stop shop” for diagnosis and surveillance assessment in patients with pulmonary hypertension. This review explores the current application, clinical value, and limitations of DECT imaging in acute and chronic pulmonary vascular conditions. It should be noted that certain manufacturers and investigators prefer alternative terms, such as spectral or multi-energy CT imaging. In this review, the term dual energy is utilised, although readers can consider these terms synonymous for purposes of the principles explained.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging