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Published: . Dec 2014

Wang Y, Bolen M, Sydow G, Kottha A, Soufan K, Bullen J, Kemper C, Kalafut J, Halliburton SS

Adaptation of contrast injection protocol to tube potential for cardiovascular CT.
(AJR Am J Roentgenol)

The purpose of this study was to investigate and validate adaptation of a cardiovascular CT angiography contrast injection protocol for lower tube potential. Eighty-three patients evaluated for thoracic aortic disease with a 256-MDCT scanner were imaged at 120 kV (group 1) or 100 kV (group 2) with the same contrast protocol (90 mL iopromide 370 mg I/mL at 3.5 mL/s). A pharmacokinetic model was validated and used to simulate aortic attenuation in group 2 patients with 20%, 33%, and 44% reduction in contrast volume. A 44% volume reduction was applied to 50 additional patients who underwent imaging at 100 kV (group 3). Patient characteristics, scanning and radiation parameters, and objective and subjective image indexes were compared among groups. Group 2 patients had higher mean aortic blood attenuation (399±61 HU) than group 1 patients (281±48 HU) (p<0.001) but similar image noise. Group 3 and group 1 patients had similar mean aortic attenuation and noise. Subjective assessment of image quality indicated that group 3 and group 1 had comparable percentages of images with good or excellent diagnostic confidence scores (reader 1, 98% vs 96%; reader 2, 96% vs 96%). Lower tube potential (100 kV) for cardiothoracic CT could be accompanied by a 44% reduction in contrast volume with satisfactory aortic blood-pool attenuation in most patients. More personalized adaptation of the contrast protocol that takes into account patient characteristics and tube potential is necessary to ensure sufficient contrast enhancement for all patients.

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Read more articles from the authors:
1. Wang Y
2. Bolen M
3. Sydow G
4. Kottha A
5. Soufan K
6. Bullen J
7. Kemper C
8. Kalafut J
9. Halliburton SS

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