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This work aims to investigate whether virtual non-contrast (VNC) dual-energy CT(DECT) of contrasted lung tumours can be used as an alternative for true non-contrast (TNC) images in radiotherapy. Two DECT techniques and a TNC CT were compared and influences on gross tumour volume (GTV) volume and CT number from motion artefacts in three-dimensional printed lung tumour models (LTM) in amotion phantom were examined. Two spherical LTMs (diameter 3.0 cm) with different inner shapes were created in a three-dimensional printer. The inner shapes contained water or iodine (concentration 5 mg ml-1) and were scanned with a dual-source DECT (ds-DECT), single-source sequential DECT (ss-DECT) and TNC CT in a respiratory motion phantom (15 breaths/min, amplitude 1.5 cm). CT number and volume of LTMs were measured. Therefore, two GTVs were contoured. Deviations in GTV volume (outer shape) of LTMs in motion for contrast-enhanced ss-DECT and ds-DECT VNC images compared to TNC images are not significant (p > 0.05). Relative GTV volume and CT number deviations (inner shapes) of LTMs in motion were 6.6 ± 0.6% and 104.4 ± 71.2 HU between ss-DECT and TNC CT and -8.4 ± 10.6% and 25.5 ± 58.5 HU between ds-DECT and TNC, respectively. ss-DECT VNC images could not sufficiently subtract iodine from water in LTMs inmotion, whereas ds-DECT VNC images might be a valid alternative to a TNC CT. ds-DECT provides a contrasted image for contouring and a non-contrasted image for radiotherapy treatment planning for LTM in motion.


Dominik Alexander Hering, Kai Kröger, Ralf W Bauer, Hans Theodor Eich, Uwe Haverkamp. Comparison of virtual non-contrast dual-energy CT and a true non-contrast CT for contouring in radiotherapy of 3D printed lung tumour models in motion: a phantom study. The British journal of radiology. 2020 Dec 01;93(1116):20200152

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PMID: 33002387

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