PURPOSE When a suspected hepatic alveolar echinococcosis (AE) lesion is detected on a contrast enhanced computed tomography (CT) scan, an additional triphasic or non-enhanced CT scan is required to determine the presence of calcification and enhancement. As a result, imaging costs and exposure to ionizing radiation will increase. We can create a non-enhanced series from routine contrast-en-hanced images using dual-energy CT (DECT) and virtual non-enhanced (VNE) images. This study’s objective is to assess virtual non-enhanced DECT reconstruction as a potential diagnostic tool for hepatic AE. METHODS Triphasic CT scans and a routine dual energy venous phase were acquired using a third-generation DECT system. A commercially available software package was used to generate VNE images. Indi-vidual evaluations were conducted by two radiologists. RESULTS The study population consisted of 100 patients (30 AE, 70 other solid liver masses). All AE cases were diagnosed [no false positives/negatives, 95% confidence interval (CI) sensitivity: 91.3%–100%; 95% CI specificity: 95.3%–100%]. Interrater agreement was k: 0.79. In total, 33 (33.00%) of the patients had AE, which was detected using both true non-enhanced (TNE) and VNE images. The mean dose-length product of a standard triphasic CT was significantly higher than biphasic dual-energy VNE images. CONCLUSION In terms of diagnostic confidence, VNE images are comparable with actual non-enhanced imaging when evaluating hepatic AE. Further, VNE images could replace TNE images with a substantial radiation dose reduction. Advances in knowledge: hepatic cystic echinococcosis and AE are serious and severe diseases with high fatality rates and a poor prognosis if managed incorrectly, especially AE. Moreover, VNE images produce equal diagnostic confidence to TNE images for assessing liver AE, with a significant reduction in radiation dose.