Detection of pancreatic tumors, image quality, and radiation dose during the pancreatic parenchymal phase: effect of a low-tube-voltage, high-tube-current CT technique--preliminary results.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: To intraindividually compare a low-tube-voltage (80 kVp), high-tube-current (675 mA) computed tomographic (CT) technique with a high-tube-voltage (140 kVp) CT protocol for the detection of pancreatic tumors, image quality, and radiation dose during the pancreatic parenchymal phase. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective, single-center, HIPAA-compliant study was approved by the institutional review board, and written informed consent was obtained. Twenty-seven patients (nine men, 18 women; mean age, 64 years) with 23 solitary pancreatic tumors underwent dual-energy CT. Two imaging protocols were used: 140 kVp and 385 mA (protocol A) and 80 kVp and 675 mA (protocol B). For both protocols, the following variables were compared during the pancreatic parenchymal phase: contrast enhancement for the aorta, the pancreas, and the portal vein; pancreas-to-tumor contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR); noise; and effective dose. Two blinded, independent readers qualitatively scored the two data sets for tumor detection and image quality. Random-effect analysis of variance tests were used to compare differences between the two protocols. RESULTS: Compared with protocol A, protocol B yielded significantly higher contrast enhancement for the aorta (508.6 HU vs 221.5 HU, respectively), pancreas (151.2 HU vs 67.0 HU), and portal vein (189.7 HU vs 87.3 HU), along with a greater pancreas-to-tumor CNR (8.1 vs 5.9) (P < .001 for all comparisons). No statistically significant difference in tumor detection was observed between the two protocols. Although standard deviation of image noise increased with protocol B (11.5 HU vs 18.6 HU), this protocol significantly reduced the effective dose (from 18.5 to 5.1 mSv; P < .001). CONCLUSION: A low-tube-voltage, high-tube-current CT technique has the potential to improve the enhancement of the pancreas and peripancreatic vasculature, improve tumor conspicuity, and reduce patient radiation dose during the pancreatic parenchymal phase.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Marin, D; Nelson, RC; Barnhart, H; Schindera, ST; Ho, LM; Jaffe, TA; Yoshizumi, TT; Youngblood, R; Samei, E

Published Date

  • August 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 256 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 450 - 459

PubMed ID

  • 20656835

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-1315

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1148/radiol.10091819


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States