Objectives: To investigate the diagnostic value of dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) in differentiating between low- and high-risk thymomas and thymic carcinomas. Materials: Our institutional review board approved this study, and patients provided informed consent. We prospectively enrolled 37 patients (20 males, mean age: 55.6 years) with thymic epithelial tumour. All patients underwent DECT. For quantitative analysis, two reviewers measured the following tumour parameters: CT attenuation value in contrast Hounsfield units (CHU), iodine-related HU and iodine concentration (mg/ml). Pathological results confirmed the final diagnosis. Results: Of the 37 thymic tumours, 23 (62.2 %) were low-risk thymomas, five (13.5 %) were high-risk thymomas and nine (24.3 %) were thymic carcinomas. According to quantitative analysis, iodine-related HU and iodine concentration were significantly different among low-risk thymomas, high-risk thymomas and thymic carcinomas (median: 29.78 HU vs. 14.55 HU vs. 19.95 HU, p = 0.001 and 1.92 mg/ml vs. 0.99 mg/ml vs. 1.18 mg/ml, p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusion: DECT using a quantitative analytical method based on iodine concentration measurement can be used to differentiate among thymic epithelial tumours using single-phase scanning. Key Points: • IHU and IC were lower in high-risk thymomas/carcinomas than in low-risk thymomas • IHU and IC were lower in advanced-stage thymomas than in early-stage thymomas • Dual-energy CT helps differentiate among thymic epithelial tumours.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging