To characterize the effect of virtual monochromatic reconstructions on several commonly used texture analysis features in DECT of the chest. Further, to assess the effect of monochromatic energy levels on the ability of these textural features to identify tissue types. 20 consecutive patients underwent chest CTs for evaluation of lung nodules using Siemens Somatom Definition Flash DECT. Virtual monochromatic images were constructed at 10keV intervals from 40-190keV. For each patient, an ROI delineated the lesion under investigation, and cylindrical ROI's were placed within 5 different healthy tissues (blood, fat, muscle, lung, and liver). Several histogram- and Grey Level Cooccurrence Matrix (GLCM)-based texture features were then evaluated in each ROI at each energy level. As a means of validation, these feature values were then used in a random forest classifier to attempt to identify the tissue types present within each ROI. Their predictive accuracy at each energy level was recorded. All textural features changed considerably with virtual monochromatic energy, particularly below 70keV. Most features exhibited a global minimum or maximum around 80keV, and while feature values changed with energy above this, patient ranking was generally unaffected. As expected, blood demonstrated the lowest inter-patient variability, for all features, while lung lesions (encompassing many different pathologies) exhibited the highest. The accuracy of these features in identifying tissues (76% accuracy) was highest at 80keV, but no clear relationship between energy and classification accuracy was found. Two common misclassifications (blood vs liver and muscle vs fat) accounted for the majority (24 of the 28) errors observed. All textural features were highly dependent on virtual monochromatic energy level, especially below 80keV, and were more stable above this energy. However, in a random forest model, these commonly used features were able to reliably differentiate between most tissues types regardless of energy level. Dr Godoy has received a dual-energy CT research grant from Siemens Healthcare.
Sorenson, J., Duran, C., & Stingo, F. (2015). Dual-energy chest CT: The effects of virtual monochromatic reconstructions on texture analysis features. Medical Physics, 42(6), 3214-3214. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00261-017-1367-1