Use of dual-energy CT for renal mass assessment

Shanigarn Thiravit, Christina Brunnquell, Larry M. Cai, Mena Flemon, Achille Mileto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Abstract: Although dual-energy CT (DECT) may prove useful in a variety of abdominal imaging tasks, renal mass evaluation represents the area where this technology can be most impactful in abdominal imaging compared to routinely performed contrast-enhanced–only single-energy CT exams. DECT post-processing techniques, such as creation of virtual unenhanced and iodine density images, can help in the characterization of incidentally discovered renal masses that would otherwise remain indeterminate based on post-contrast imaging only. The purpose of this article is to review the use of DECT for renal mass assessment, including its benefits and existing limitations. Key Points: • If DECT is selected as the scanning mode for most common abdominal protocols, many incidentally found renal masses can be fully triaged within the same exam. • Virtual unenhanced and iodine density DECT images can provide additional information when renal masses are discovered in the post-contrast–only setting. • For renal mass evaluation, virtual unenhanced and iodine density DECT images should be interpreted side-by-side to troubleshoot pitfalls that can potentially lead to erroneous interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3721-3733
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Achille Mileto has a research grant from GE Healthcare and receives research support from Philips Healthcare.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, European Society of Radiology.


  • Incidental findings
  • Iodine
  • Kidney
  • Kidney neoplasm
  • Tomography, X-ray computed


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