Chest Imaging - Original Article

Dual-energy computed tomography iodine uptake in differential diagnosis of inflammatory and malignant pulmonary nodules


  • Lin Qiu
  • Xue-Hui Pu
  • Hai Xu
  • Mei Yuan
  • Tong-Fu Yu

Received Date: 11.01.2021 Accepted Date: 08.12.2021 Diagn Interv Radiol 2022;28(6):563-568


The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of iodine uptake parameters using dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) in discriminating inflammatory nodules from malignant tumors.


This retrospective study included 116 solid pulmonary nodules from 112 patients who were admitted to our hospital between January and September 2018. All nodules were confirmed by surgery or puncture. The degree of enhancement of a single-section region of interest was evaluated. After total tumor volume-of-interest segmentation, the mean iodine density of the whole tumor was measured. Meanwhile, iodine uptake parameters, including total iodine uptake volume, total iodine concentration, vital iodine uptake volume, and vital iodine concentration, were calculated, and a predictive model was established. The overall ability to discriminate between inflammatory and malignant nodules was analyzed using an independent samples t-test for normally distributed variables. The diagnostic accuracy and prognostic performance of DECT parameters were evaluated and compared using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and logistic regression analysis. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the prognostic factors and goodness-of-fit of the whole tumor mean iodine and iodine uptake parameters for discriminating malignant nodules.


There were 116 non-calcified nodules, including 64 inflammatory nodules and 52 malignant nodules. The degree of enhancement in malignant nodules was significantly lower than that in inflammatory nodules (P=.043). All iodine uptake parameters in malignant nodules were significantly higher than those in inflammatory nodules (P < .001). The area under the receiver operating curve value, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the established model based on iodine uptake parameters were 0.803, 76.72%, 82.69%, and 84.37%, respectively, which exhibited better diagnostic performance than the degree of enhancement on weighted average images with respective values of 0.609, 59.48%, 61.54%, and 59.38%.


The iodine uptake parameters of DECT exhibited better diagnostic accuracy in discriminating inflammatory nodules from malignant nodules than the degree of enhancement on weighted average images.