Assessment of Liver Fat: Dual-Energy CT versus Conventional CT with and without Contrast

Jack Junchi Xu, Mikkel Ranum Boesen, Sofie Lindskov Hansen, Peter Sommer Ulriksen, Søren Holm, Lars Lönn, Kristoffer Lindskov Hansen


We assessed the correlation between liver fat percentage using dual-energy CT (DECT) and Hounsfield unit (HU) measurements in contrast and non-contrast CT. This study included 177 patients in two patient groups: Group A (n = 125) underwent whole body non-contrast DECT and group B (n = 52) had a multiphasic DECT including a conventional non-contrast CT. Three regions of interest were placed on each image series, one in the left liver lobe and two in the right to measure Hounsfield Units (HU) as well as liver fat percentage. Linear regression analysis was performed for each group as well as combined. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was generated to establish the optimal fat percentage threshold value in DECT for predicting a non-contrast threshold of 40 HU correlating to moderate-severe liver steatosis. We found a strong correlation between fat percentage found with DECT and HU measured in non-contrast CT in group A and B individually (R2 = 0.81 and 0.86, respectively) as well as combined (R2 = 0.85). No significant difference was found when comparing venous and arterial phase DECT fat percentage measurements in group B (p = 0.67). A threshold of 10% liver fat found with DECT had 95% sensitivity and 95% specificity for the prediction of a 40 HU threshold using non-contrast CT. In conclusion, liver fat quantification using DECT shows high correlation with HU measurements independent of scan phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number708
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2022


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