Dual Energy Radiography

Dual energy radiography involves the acquisition of two posterior-anterior (PA) chest radiographs separated by milliseconds which allows for digital subtraction of soft tissues and osseous structures to better characterize chest pathology and potentially improve specificity. A lateral radiograph is also obtained as part of the study.  Common indications include:

  • Pulmonary Nodules– Dual energy radiography can help determine if an opacity is a true nodule versus an apparent nodule due to superimposed osseous of vascular structures.  Furthermore, the technique can determine if a nodule contains calcium, which would favor a benign etiology.  Dual energy radiography can therefore save cost and radiation exposure by preventing unnecessary CT examination.
  • Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC or PIC line)– Superimposed structures such as the heart, SVC, and other soft tissues can obscure the precise location a PICC following insertion.  Dual energy radiography can facilitate identification of the catheter tip by soft tissue subtraction.

Dual energy radiography is available at the Duke University Medical Center Department of Radiology North location.