Objective:To evaluate the diagnostic value of virtual non-calcium(VNC) technique based on the third generation dual energy CT(DECT) in the detection of thoracolumbar vertebral marrow edema. Methods:A total of twenty-four patients with thoracolumbar injuries were enrolled and underwent DECT and MR examinations. The data of vertebral marrow edema were analyzed by Bone Marrow Software on syngo via workstation for image post-processing. Data of CT value of virtual non-calcium technology(VNCa),regular CT value(rCT),and ratio of MR signal intensity of vertebral body to disc(VDR) were simultaneously collected. Both the DECT scan results and visual score(VS) were compared with MR images which are regarded as gold standard for detecting bone marrow edema. Results:147 vertebras were analyzed in total. There were significant differences in both VNCa and rCT values between vertebral marrow edema group and no edema group according to MR images (P=0.00 for all). There was a liner relation between VNCa value and VDR,which was also found between rCT value and VDR (P=0.00 for all). VS,VNCa,rCT all had diagnostic values for bone marrow edema of thoracolumbar vertebra. The detection efficiencies of VS and VNCa were higher than those of rCT with significant differences (P=0.00,0.04),while there was no significant difference between VS and VNCa (P=0.68). Conclusion:Virtual non-calcium technique based on the third generation DECT can detect the bone marrow edema of thoracolumbar vertebra,which can provide clinical reference for identification of fresh and old vertebral fractures.
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