Characterization of Small Focal Renal Lesions: Diagnostic Accuracy with Single-Phase Contrast-enhanced Dual-Energy CT with Material Attenuation Analysis Compared with Conventional Attenuation Measurements.
Radiology. 2017 Sep;284(3):737-747. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2017161872. Epub 2017 Mar 28. Marin D1, Davis D1, Roy Choudhury K1, Patel B1, Gupta RT1, Mileto A1, Nelson RC1.
To determine whether single-phase contrast material-enhanced dual-energy material attenuation analysis improves the characterization of small (1-4 cm) renal lesions compared with conventional attenuation measurements by using histopathologic analysis and follow-up imaging as the clinical reference standards.
Materials and Methods
In this retrospective, HIPAA-compliant, institutional review board-approved study, 136 consecutive patients (95 men and 41 women; mean age, 54 years) with 144 renal lesions (111 benign, 33 malignant) measuring 1-4 cm underwent single-energy unenhanced and contrast-enhanced dual-energy computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen. For each renal lesion, attenuation measurements were obtained; attenuation change of greater than or equal to 15 HU was considered evidence of enhancement. Dual-energy attenuation measurements were also obtained by using iodine-water, water-iodine, calcium-water, and water-calcium material basis pairs. Mean lesion attenuation values and material densities were compared between benign and malignant renal lesions by using the two-sample t test. Diagnostic accuracy of attenuation measurements and dual-energy material densities was assessed and validated by using 10-fold cross-validation to limit the effect of optimistic bias.
By using cross-validated optimal thresholds at 100% sensitivity, iodine-water material attenuation images significantly improved specificity for differentiating between benign and malignant renal lesions compared with conventional enhancement measurements (93% [103 of 111]; 95% confidence interval: 86%, 97%; vs 81% [90 of 111]; 95% confidence interval: 73%, 88%) (P = .02). Sensitivity with iodine-water and calcium-water material attenuation images was also higher than that with conventional enhancement measurements, although the difference was not statistically significant.
Contrast-enhanced dual-energy CT with material attenuation analysis improves specificity for characterization of small (1-4 cm) renal lesions compared with conventional attenuation measurements. © RSNA, 2017 Online supplemental material is available for this article.