Rationale and Objectives: The aims of this study were to distinguish stents from iodinated contrast on the basis of spectral characteristics on dual-energy computed tomographic (DECT) imaging and to determine whether DECT imaging might provide a more accurate measurement of true stent lumen. Materials and Methods: Three stainless steel stents and one cobalt chromium stent were scanned using a multidetector, single-source DECT scanner. Stents 2.5, 3.5, and 4.0 mm in diameter were filled with iodinated contrast, submerged in water, and scanned. Spectral analysis was performed to assess the separation of stents from iodinated contrast. Two independent reviewers measured stent lumen diameter and strut thickness on low-energy (L0), high-energy (L1), and combined-energy (Lc) images. Dual-energy full-width half-maximum edge detection analysis was used to provide an independent assessment of stent luminal diameter and strut thickness. Results: Two-dimensional graphical plots of computed tomographic attenuation for the L0 and L1 images did not demonstrate a sharp separation between the absorption characteristics of stents and iodinated contrast material. Stent lumens were underestimated by approximately 50% on Lc images. Observer measurements on L1 images demonstrated a 24% decrease in strut thickness and a 25% increase in stent luminal diameter compared to L0 images (P < .0001). Full-width half-maximum measurements did not demonstrate significant changes in stent luminal diameters or strut thicknesses between L0 and L1 images. Conclusions: Spectral analysis did not clearly distinguish stents from iodinated contrast with the DECT system used in this study. The larger stent lumens visualized by the high-energy components of the x-ray spectrum were not related to improved computed tomographic delineation of stent thickness.
- Coronary artery, coronary stent, CT angiography, dual energy CT, spectral classification