New uses for an existing technology—dual-energy CT (DECT)—can help improve confidence and specificity for certain diagnoses, according to researchers from the University of California–San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering.

“With DECT, structures with different atomic make-up, such as iodine, calcium and dense blood or metal, are vividly differentiated,” said Dr. Benjamin Yeh at the RSNA 2019 Annual meeting. “Even when objects have identical HU on a regular CT, with DECT different materials appear like different colors.”

The benefits of these different colors, aka “color vision,” makes DECT a transformative technology in daily clinical practice. Dr. Yeh explains that radiologists routinely encounter ambiguous lesions at CT in their daily practice. Since many types of materials may have similar HU values, it is hard to tell whether a lesion is enhancing, calcified or hemorrhagic. DECT shows radiologists what the underlying atoms are and readily differentiates among such entities.

Read the full story from UCSF.