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This article is the author's final published version in Diagnostics, Volume 13, Issue 13, 2023, Article number 2208.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Objective: To evaluate two different dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) post-processing protocols for the detection of MSU deposits in foot tendons of cadavers with verification by polarizing light microscopy as the gold standard. Material and Methods: A total of 40 embalmed cadavers (15 male; 25 female; median age, 82 years; mean, 80 years; range, 52–99; SD ± 10.9) underwent DECT to assess MSU deposits in foot tendons. Two postprocessing DECT protocols with different Hounsfield unit (HU) thresholds, 150/500 (=established) versus 120/500 (=modified). HU were applied to dual source acquisition with 80 kV for tube A and 140 kV for tube B. Six fresh cadavers (4 male; 2 female; median age, 78; mean, 78.5; range 61–95) were examined by DECT. Tendon dissection of 2/6 fresh cadavers with positive DECT 120 and negative DECT 150 studies were used to verify MSU deposits by polarizing light microscopy. Results: The tibialis anterior tendon was found positive in 57.5%/100% (DECT 150/120), the peroneus tendon in 35%/100%, the achilles tendon in 25%/90%, the flexor halluces longus tendon in 10%/100%, and the tibialis posterior tendon in 12.5%/97.5%. DECT 120 resulted in increased tendon MSU deposit detection, when DECT 150 was negative, with an overall agreement between DECT 150 and DECT 120 of 80% (p = 0.013). Polarizing light microscope confirmed MSU deposits detected only by DECT 120 in the tibialis anterior, the achilles, the flexor halluces longus, and the peroneal tendons. Conclusion: The DECT 120 protocol showed a higher sensitivity when compared to DECT 150.

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