Relationship between Carotid Computed Tomography Dual-Energy and Brain Leukoaraiosis

16 Nov 2017

Background The purpose of this study was to assess if there is a correlation between the carotid computed tomography (CT) Hounsfield unit (HU)-based plaque attenuation values measured using dual-energy CT (DECT) scanner and brain leukoaraiosis (LA). Methods Fifty consecutive patients (34 males, 16 females; mean age, 69 years; age range, 46-84 years) who underwent carotid CT and brain magnetic resonance imaging were included in the study. CT examinations were performed with a DECT scanner, and LA lesion volume quantification was performed using a semiautomated segmentation technique. Results We found an inverse statistically significant correlation between the HU-based carotid artery plaque attenuation and the LA lesion volume. Because of the presence of calcified plaques, a second model was calculated at low kiloelectron volt levels from 66 to 100 and 100 kV by taking into consideration the fatty and mixed plaques, and this further led to the associations between HU-based attenuation and LA volume in brain and vascular territories. Conclusions The results of our study suggest that the associations between HU attenuation of the carotid artery plaques (with the exclusion of calcified plaques) and the volume of LA are emphasized at low keV energy levels.