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The utility of a dual-phase, dual-energy CT protocol in patients presenting with overt gastrointestinal bleeding

  • Mohammadinejad, Payam
  • Kwapisz, Lukasz
  • Fidler, Jeff L
  • Sheedy, Shannon P
  • Heiken, Jay P
  • Khandelwal, Ashish
  • Wells, Michael L
  • Froemming, Adam T
  • Hansel, Stephanie L
  • Lee, Yong S
  • Inoue, Akitoshi
  • Halaweish, Ahmed F
  • McCollough, Cynthia H
  • Bruining, David H
  • Fletcher, Joel G
Published Article
Acta Radiologica Open
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Jul 27, 2021
DOI: 10.1177/20584601211030658
PMID: 34377539
PMCID: PMC8323435
PubMed Central
  • Original Article


Background Due to their easy accessibility, CT scans have been increasingly used for investigation of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Purpose To estimate the performance of a dual-phase, dual-energy (DE) GI bleed CT protocol in patients with overt GI bleeding in clinical practice and examine the added value of portal phase and DE images. Materials and Methods Consecutive patients with GI bleeding underwent a two-phase DE GI bleed CT protocol. Two gastroenterologists established the reference standard. Performance was estimated using clinical CT reports. Three GI radiologists rated confidence in GI bleeding in a subset of 62 examinations, evaluating first mixed kV arterial images, then after examining additional portal venous phase images, and finally after additional DE images (virtual non-contrast and virtual monoenergetic 50 keV images). Results 52 of 176 patients (29.5%) had GI bleeding by the reference standard. The overall sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the CT GI bleed protocol for detecting GI bleeding were 65.4%, 89.5%, 72.3%, and 86.0%, respectively. In patients with GI bleeding, diagnostic confidence of readers increased after adding portal phase images to arterial phase images ( p = 0.002), without additional benefit from dual energy images. In patients without GI bleeding, confidence in luminal extravasation appropriately decreased after adding portal phase, and subsequently DE images ( p = 0.006, p = 0.018). Conclusion A two-phase DE GI bleed CT protocol had high specificity and negative predictive value in clinical practice. Portal venous phase images improved diagnostic confidence in comparison to arterial phase images alone. Dual-energy images further improved radiologist confidence in the absence of bleeding.

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