Dual-energy computed tomography is a novel imaging tool that has the potential to reduce beam hardening artifacts and
enhance material separation over conventional imaging techniques. Dual-energy acquisitions can be performed by using
a fast kVp technology to switch between acquiring adjacent projections at two distinct x-ray spectra (80 and 140 kVp).
These datasets can be used to further compute material density and monochromatic images for better material separation
and beam hardening reduction by virtue of the projection domain process. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the
feasibility of using dual-energy in cardiac imaging for myocardial perfusion detection and coronary artery lumen
visualization. Data was acquired on a heart phantom, which consisted of the chambers and aorta filled with Iodine
density solution (500 HU @ 120 kVp), a defect region between the aorta and chamber (40 HU @ 120 kVp), two Iodinefilled
vessels (400 HU @ 120 kVp) of different diameters with high attenuation (hydroxyapatite) plaques (HAP), and
with a 30-cm water equivalent body ring around the phantom. Prospective ECG-gated single-energy and prospective
ECG-gated dual-energy imaging was performed. Results showed that the generated monochromatic images had minimal
beam hardening artifacts which improved the accuracy and detection of the myocardial defect region. Material density
images were useful in differentiating and quantifying the actual size of the plaque and coronary artery lumen. Overall,
this study shows that dual-energy cardiac imaging will be a valuable tool for cardiac applications.