Improved aortic enhancement in CT angiography using slope-based triggering with table speed optimization: a pilot study.
To assess whether a scan triggering technique based on the slope of the time-attenuation curve combined with table speed optimization may improve arterial enhancement in aortic CT angiography compared to conventional threshold-based triggering techniques. Measurements of arterial enhancement were performed in a physiologic flow phantom over a range of simulated cardiac outputs (2.2-8.1 L/min) using contrast media boluses of 80 and 150 mL injected at 4 mL/s. These measurements were used to construct computer models of aortic attenuation in CT angiography, using cardiac output, aortic diameter, and CT table speed as input parameters. In-plane enhancement was calculated for normal and aneurysmal aortic diameters. Calculated arterial enhancement was poor (<150 HU) along most of the scan length using the threshold-based triggering technique for low cardiac outputs and the aneurysmal aorta model. Implementation of the slope-based triggering technique with table speed optimization improved enhancement in all scenarios and yielded good- (>200 HU; 13/16 scenarios) to excellent-quality (>300 HU; 3/16 scenarios) enhancement in all cases. Slope-based triggering with table speed optimization may improve the technical quality of aortic CT angiography over conventional threshold-based techniques, and may reduce technical failures related to low cardiac output and slow flow through an aneurysmal aorta.
Bashir, MR; Weber, PW; Husarik, DB; Howle, LE; Nelson, RC
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