Contrast-enhanced spiral CT of the liver: effect of different amounts and injection rates of contrast material on early contrast enhancement.
OBJECTIVE: Spiral CT allows rapid hepatic imaging during a single breath-hold. The increase in imaging speed potentially allows contrast material to be used more efficaciously than with conventional dynamic CT, perhaps allowing a decrease in the volume of required contrast agent. To determine how this can be accomplished, we studied the effect of different bolus IV injection rates and amounts of contrast material on early hepatic enhancement during dynamic bolus spiral CT. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A group of 20 healthy male volunteers were divided into four groups of five each. The groups received 75, 100, 125, or 150 ml of contrast material (Omnipaque 300, 300 mg l/ml). Each person within each group was scanned as contrast material was injected at rates of 3, 4, and 5 ml/sec. Hepatic enhancement was evaluated by comparing quantitative regions of interest before and after bolus injection of contrast material. Variations in enhancement produced by changes in volume and injection rate of contrast material were evaluated on early, middle, and late sections of the spiral, corresponding to 32-34, 41-43, and 51-53 sec, respectively, after the injection of contrast material was begun. RESULTS: Hepatic enhancement increased more rapidly when the bolus of contrast material was given at a rate of 5 ml/sec than at the slower rates of 3 or 4 ml/sec. Enhancement of the liver was greatest at the late portion of the spiral (51-53 sec after start of the bolus injection), averaging 73 and 79 H for volumes of 125 and 150 ml, respectively, at 5 ml/sec, and the enhancement was still increasing at that time. Enhancement curves predict 50- and 70-H mean increases in hepatic attenuation on initial slices with scan delays of approximately 40 and 50 sec, respectively, for these two protocols. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that there is a marked dependence on early hepatic enhancement produced by variations in volume and injection rate of contrast material. We found no difference in the results produced by 125- and 150-ml volumes. These results are important for maximizing the effectiveness of IV contrast material during rapid hepatic spiral CT scanning.
Small, WC; Nelson, RC; Bernardino, ME; Brummer, LT
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