Clinical Utility of Dual-Energy CT Analysis of Bone Marrow Edema in Acute Wrist Fractures.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Apr;210(4):842-847. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.18673. Epub 2018 Feb 22. Ali IT1, Wong WD2, Liang T1, Khosa F1, Mian M1,3, Jalal S1, Nicolaou S1.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to determine the utility of dual-energy CT (DECT) for assessing carpal fractures and to obtain an attenuation value cutoff (in Hounsfield units) to identify bone marrow edema due to an acute carpal fracture.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, 24 patients who presented with wrist fractures from September 3, 2014, through March 9, 2015, underwent imaging with DECT (80 and 140 kVp). Using the three-material decomposition algorithm specific for virtual noncalcium to construct images, two radiologists identified carpal fractures and associated bone marrow edema. Readers noted the attenuation at areas with and without bone marrow edema. The cutoff value was obtained by ROC analysis and was internally validated on 13 separate patients with suspected wrist fractures. A p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: CT attenuation was significantly higher in areas of bone marrow edema than in areas without it (p < 0.0001, t test). A cutoff of 5.90 HU allows detection of bone marrow edema associated with acute wrist fractures with 100% sensitivity and 99.5% specificity, compared with visual DECT interpretation. In the 13 validation cases, the cutoff of 5.90 HU identified bone marrow edema with 100% accuracy, compared with visual interpretation. Kappa values were 0.83 between the two readings by reader 1, and 0.73 and 0.96 comparing the two readings of reader 1 with the reading by reader 2.
CONCLUSION: DECT is a useful tool for identifying bone marrow edema in the setting of acute wrist fractures, providing an alternative to MRI. A cutoff value of 5.90 HU can be used for accurate diagnosis and exclusion of carpal fractures.