Purpose: To seek optimal keV settings for imaging carpal tunnel in adults by dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) monoenergetic technique; to describe anatomic characteristics of carpal tunnel and to observe correlation between carpal bony and soft tissue structures.
Methods: DECT images of 20 wrists (11 left and 9 right wrists; 14 men, mean age 26.93 ± 1.38 years, range 23 to 28, and 6 women, mean age 24.17 ± 0.98 years, range 23 to 26) were evaluated. Monoenergetic images were reconstructed at 42, 62, 82, 102, 122, and 142 keV. Image quality was assessed along a 5-point Likert scale, and the highest-quality images were chosen for quantitative analysis. Two musculoskeletal radiologists performed both analyses independently.
Results: The optimal energy spectrum with the best contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) for monoenergetic images were at 62 keV (19 wrists, 95%) and 61 keV (1 wrist, 5%). There was substantial interobserver agreement between the readers in the 5-point Likert scale analysis of image quality (? = 0.793). Bland-Altman plots also indicated good agreement between observers in quantitative analysis. Intra-category 1 and 2 correlation was mostly discovered at hamate hook level and middle level of pisiform (P < 0.05), while bony and soft tissue structures partly reached correlation (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The optimal energy spectrum for monoenergetic DECT imaging of carpal tunnel structures was 62 keV. DECT monoenergetic imaging could predict changes in soft tissue structures and demonstrate carpal tunnel anatomic structures.
Keywords: DECT, monoenergetic, keV, carpal tunnel, Continuous...