Assessment of the optimal temporal window for intravenous CT cholangiography.
The optimal temporal window of intravenous (IV) computed tomography (CT) cholangiography was prospectively determined. Fifteen volunteers (eight women, seven men; mean age, 38 years) underwent dynamic CT cholangiography. Two unenhanced images were acquired at the porta hepatis. Starting 5 min after initiation of IV contrast infusion (20 ml iodipamide meglumine 52%), 15 pairs of images at 5-min intervals were obtained. Attenuation of the extrahepatic bile duct (EBD) and the liver parenchyma was measured. Two readers graded visualization of the higher-order biliary branches. The first biliary opacification in the EBD occurred between 15 and 25 min (mean, 22.3 min +/- 3.2) after initiation of the contrast agent. Biliary attenuation plateaued between the 35- and the 75-min time points. Maximum hepatic parenchymal enhancement was 18.5 HU +/- 2.7. Twelve subjects demonstrated poor or non-visualization of higher-order biliary branches; three showed good or excellent visualization. Body weight and both biliary attenuation and visualization of the higher-order biliary branches correlated significantly (P<0.05). For peak enhancement of the biliary tree, CT cholangiography should be performed no earlier than 35 min after initiation of IV infusion. For a fixed contrast dose, superior visualization of the biliary system is achieved in subjects with lower body weight.
Schindera, ST; Nelson, RC; Paulson, EK; DeLong, DM; Merkle, EM
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