AJR. American journal of roentgenology

Whole-body CT angiography with low tube voltage and low-concentration contrast material to reduce radiation dose and iodine load.

PMID 24370154


The purpose of this study was to prospectively evaluate the contrast enhancement, vascular depiction, image quality, and radiation dose of low-tube-voltage whole-body CT angiography (CTA) performed with low-concentration iodinated contrast material. Whole-body CTA was performed on 109 patients with a 64-MDCT scanner. Patients were randomized into three groups: CTA with 240-mg/mL contrast material at 80 kVp (240-80 group), 300-mg/mL at 80 kVp (300-80 group), and 370-mg/mL at 120 kVp (370-120 group). Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), arterial depiction, image quality, and radiation dose were assessed. Figure of merit was computed to normalize signal-to-noise ratio, estimated effective dose, and iodine weight. In the 240-80 group, the mean load of administered iodine was 21.6 g; for the 300-80 group, 26.8 g; and the 370-120 group, 34.0 g (p < 0.05). The ranges of mean vascular enhancement were 508-521 HU, 546-593 HU, and 435-442 HU (p < 0.05). Arterial depiction and image quality were comparable for the 240-80 and 370-120 groups and were greater for the 300-80 group than the other two groups in selected arteries (p < 0.05). Effective dose was higher (p < 0.05) in the 370-120 group (2.8-5.4 mSv) than in the others (2.3-4.3 mSv). The figure of merit in the 240-80 group was greater than (p < 0.05) or comparable to that in the 370-120 group. Use of 240-mg/mL contrast material at 80 kVp seems appropriate for routine whole-body CTA and beneficial for reduction of iodine load and radiation dose, whereas use of 300-mg/mL contrast material may marginally improve delineation of selected small arteries.