Objectives To investigate whether virtual monoenergetic images (VMI) and iodine maps derived from spectral detector computed tomography (SDCT) improve early assessment of technique efficacy in patients who underwent microwave ablation (MWA) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in liver cirrhosis. Methods This retrospective study comprised 39 patients with 49 HCC lesions treated with MWA. Biphasic SDCT was performed 7.7±4.0 days after ablation. Conventional images (CI), VMI and IM were reconstructed. Signal- and contrast-to-noise ratio (SNR, CNR) in the ablation zone (AZ), hyperemic rim (HR) and liver parenchyma were calculated using regions-of-interest analysis and compared between CI and VMI between 40-100 keV. Iodine concentration and perfusion ratio of HR and residual tumor (RT) were measured. Two readers evaluated subjective contrast of AZ and HR, technique efficacy (complete vs. incomplete ablation) and diagnostic confidence at determining technique efficacy. Results Attenuation of liver parenchyma, HR and RT, SNR of liver parenchyma and HR, CNR of AZ and HR were significantly higher in low-keV VMI compared to CI (all p Conclusions Spectral detector computed tomography derived low-keV virtual monoenergetic images and iodine maps provide superior early assessment of technique efficacy of MWA in HCC compared to CI.