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Dual-energy CT for imaging of pulmonary hypertension: challenges and opportunities

, : Dual-energy CT for imaging of pulmonary hypertension: challenges and opportunities. Radiographics 34(7): 1769-1790

Computed tomography (CT) is routinely used in the evaluation of patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) to assess vascular anatomy and parenchymal morphology. The introduction of dual-energy CT (DECT) enables additional qualitative and quantitative insights into pulmonary hemodynamics and the extent and variability of parenchymal enhancement. Lung perfusion assessed at pulmonary blood volume imaging correlates well with findings at scintigraphy, and pulmonary blood volume defects seen in pulmonary embolism studies infer occlusive disease with increased risk of right heart dysfunction. Similarly, perfusion inhomogeneities seen in patients with PH closely reflect mosaic lung changes and may be useful for severity assessment and prognostication. The use of DECT may increase detection of peripheral thromboembolic disease, which is of particular prognostic importance in patients with chronic thromboembolic PH with microvascular involvement. Other DECT applications for imaging of PH include low-kilovoltage images with greater inherent iodine conspicuity and iodine-selective color-coded maps of vascular perfusion (both of which can improve visualization of vascular enhancement), virtual nonenhanced imaging (which better depicts vascular calcification), and, potentially, ventricular perfusion maps (to assess myocardial ischemia). In addition, quantitative assessment of central vascular and parenchymal enhancement can be used to evaluate pulmonary hemodynamics in patients with PH. The current status and potential advantages and limitations of DECT for imaging of PH are reviewed, and current evidence is supplemented with data from a tertiary referral center for PH.


PMID: 25384277

DOI: 10.1148/rg.347130085

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