The Feasibility of Dual-Energy Computed Tomography in Cardiac Contusion Imaging for Mildest Blunt Cardiac Injury

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficiency and feasibility of dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) used in the diagnosis of cardiac contusion with the mildest blunt cardiac injury.

Material and Methods

This study was performed between February 2014 and September 2015; a total of 17 consecutive patients (10 men and 7 women; median age, 51 years [range: 20–78]) were enrolled in the study. The DECT was performed within 48 hours of the trauma and a subsequent follow-up DECT was performed a little less than 1 year after the first examination. All examinations were analyzed on iodine map images by 2 experienced radiologists. Interobserver and intraobserver agreement was calculated. The correlation of initial troponin level, age, and sex with number of contusion areas in the left ventricle and complete recovery of contusion were measured.

Results

The contusion areas were amorphous, with considerable variation in their size, shape, and density. Contusions were primarily located in the left free wall of the ventricle, the ventricular septum, and the apex, respectively. In 10 patients, contusion areas disappeared on follow-up examination. In 4 patients, the contusion areas decreased but were still present in the follow-up examination. The interobserver agreements were almost perfect with respect to the presence of cardiac contusion, the anatomic location of contusions, and the contusion areas (kappa values of 1.0, 1.0, and 0.9 for intraobserver agreement and 1.0, 1.0, and 1.0 for intraobserver agreement, respectively). Correlations were found between age of patients and complete recovery of contusion (P = 0.01).

Conclusions

Dual-energy computed tomography can show cardiac contusion and could be useful and feasible for the diagnosis and follow-up of blunt cardiac injuries. Dual-energy computed tomography is a new, user-independent, and valuable imaging technique.

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