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Dual-energy CT allows the determination of tissue composition based on the different atomic numbers and attenuation profiles of the constituents. The aims of this study is to assess the feasibility of dual-energy CT at Imaging Unit, Advanced Medical, and Dental Institute, USM, to quantify different materials, permitting imaging assessment of elemental deficiencies, metabolic imbalances, and any abnormal tissue in clinical practice. The study was conducted at the Imaging Unit, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. The study was performed using a new fabricated abdominal phantom for spectral CT imaging that scanned on the single-source, fast switching dual-energy CT scanner (Somatom Definition; Siemens AG, Wittelsbacherplatz Muenchen, Germany) system in dual-energy mode at tube voltages of 80 kVp for low energy and 140 kVp for high energy using abdominal protocol. The phantom was scanned at 4.0 mm slice thickness and pitch value 1.2 using CAREDose 4D (automated tube current modulation). Four tubes filled with calcium chloride, ferric nitrate, water, and sunflower oil that represents bone, blood, soft tissue, and fat respectively were analyzed in an abdominal phantom. Image post-processing was analyzed. All the tissue-mimicking materials, calcium chloride, ferric nitrate, water, and oil can be differentiated clearly in an unenhanced image scan. By applying the two different energy levels, all these materials can be accurately differentiated from one another based on their differential absorption levels of the x-ray energy. The material separation in the dual-energy CT technique is based on the attenuation interaction in the irradiated materials by applying varies x-ray beam at low and high energy. Furthermore, in clinical practice, a radiation source is usually composed of individual photons with a wide range of energies, and each photon energy is attenuated differently by the types of tissues in the human body. Material separation can be accurately quantified with a dual-energy CT system available at Universiti Sains Malaysia. Thus, the dual-energy CT capable of tissue characterization.
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