Low-Iodine-Load and Low-Tube-Voltage CT Angiographic Imaging of the Kidney by Using Bolus Tracking with Saline Flushing.

PMID 25494297


To prospectively determine the feasibility of low-iodine-load and low-tube-voltage computed tomographic (CT) angiographic imaging of the kidney and to evaluate the opacification and image quality compared with moderate-iodine-load and high-iodine-load techniques. Institutional review board approval and written informed consent was obtained. One hundred thirteen consecutive patients randomly underwent three protocols for dual-phase renal CT angiographic imaging: high-iodine-load (600 mg iodine per kilogram of body weight at 120 kVp); moderate-iodine-load (400 mg iodine per kilogram of body weight at 80 kVp); and low-iodine-load (contrast agent injection initially prepared at 400 mg iodine per kilogram of body weight but stopped immediately after bolus-tracking trigger at 80 kVp) scanning. CT numbers of vessels and kidneys were measured. CT numbers and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were compared with one-way analysis of variance and posthoc Tukey-Kramer test and depiction of vessels and image noise, with Kruskal-Wallis test and pair-wise Mann-Whitney test with Bonferroni correction. Mean iodine weight administered was significantly reduced in order of low- (16.4 g), moderate- (23.5 g), and high-iodine-load (33.7 g) protocols (P < .001). Mean CT numbers of abdominal aorta, renal artery, and renal cortex in first phase were significantly lower with high-iodine-load protocol (308, 274, and 132 HU, respectively) than with moderate- (347, 334, and 156 HU, respectively; P = .001-.006) or low-iodine-load (362, 316, and 161 HU, respectively; P = .001-.003) protocol. Mean CT number of renal vein in second phase was significantly lower with low-iodine-load protocol (223 HU) than with moderate- (299 HU; P < .001) or high-iodine-load (258 HU; P = .020). Mean SNR of renal medulla in second phase was significantly lower (P = .019) with moderate-iodine-load protocol (mean SNR, 7.2) than with high-iodine-load protocol (mean SNR, 10.0). No significant difference in image quality grades was found between high-iodine-load (mean grade, 2.6-2.9), moderate-iodine-load (mean grade, 2.6-3.0), and low-iodine-load (mean grade, 2.6-2.9) protocols (P = .018-.31). Combined application of low-iodine-load, bolus tracking with saline flushing, and low-tube-voltage scanning is feasible and resulted in substantial reduction of iodine dose for renal CT angiographic imaging without compromising image quality.