Dual-energy CT for detection of endoleaks after endovascular abdominal aneurysm repair: usefulness of colored iodine overlay

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Jun;196(6):1408-14. doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.4505.


Objective: The purpose of our study was to evaluate the value of dual-source dual-energy CT with colored iodine overlay for detection of endoleaks after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. We also calculated the potential dose reduction by using a dual-energy CT single-phase protocol.

Subjects and methods: From November 2007 to November 2009, 74 patients underwent CT angiography 2-7 days after endovascular repair during single-energy unenhanced and dual-energy venous phases. By using dual-energy software, the iodine overlay was superimposed on venous phase images with different percentages ranging between 0 (virtual unenhanced images) and 50-75% to show the iodine in an orange color. Two blinded readers evaluated the data for diagnosis of endoleaks during standard unenhanced and venous phase images (session 1, standard of reference) and virtual unenhanced and venous phase images with colored iodine overlay images (session 2). We compared the effective dose radiation of a single-energy biphasic protocol with that of a single-phase dual-energy protocol. The diagnostic accuracy of session 2 was calculated.

Results: The mean dual-energy effective dose was 7.27 mSv. By using a dual-energy single-phase protocol, we obtained a mean dose reduction of 28% with respect to a single-energy biphasic protocol. The diagnostic accuracy of session 2 was: 100% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% negative predictive value, and 100% positive predictive value. Statistically significant differences in the level of confidence for endoleak detection between the two sessions were found by reviewers for scores 3-5.

Conclusion: Dual-energy CT with colored iodine overlay is a useful diagnostic tool in endoleak detection. The use of a dual-energy single-phase study protocol will lower radiation exposure to patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery
  • Contrast Media*
  • Endoleak / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Software
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Triiodobenzoic Acids*


  • Contrast Media
  • Triiodobenzoic Acids
  • iodixanol