64-section multidetector CT of the upper abdomen: optimization of a saline chaser injection protocol for improved vascular and parenchymal contrast enhancement.
OBJECTIVES: To prospectively investigate the effect of varying the injection flow rates of a saline chaser on vascular and parenchymal contrast enhancement during abdominal MDCT. METHODS: 100 consecutive patients were randomly assigned to four injection protocols. A fixed dose of contrast medium was administered followed by no saline (Protocol A) or 50 mL of saline at 2, 4, or 8 mL/s (Protocols B, C, and D). Peak, time-to-peak, and duration of 90% peak enhancement were determined for aorta, pancreas, and liver. RESULTS: Aortic peak enhancement was significantly higher for Protocol D (369.5 HU) compared with Protocols A and B (332.9 HU and 326.0 HU, respectively; P < 0.05). Pancreatic peak enhancement was significantly higher for Protocols C and D (110.6 HU and 110.9 HU, respectively) compared to Protocol A (92.5 HU; P < 0.05). Aortic and pancreatic time-to-peak enhancement occurred significantly later for Protocol D compared with Protocol A (42.8 s vs. 36.1 s [P < 0.001] and 49.7 s vs. 45.3 s [P = 0.003]). CONCLUSIONS: Injecting a saline chaser at high flow rates yields significantly higher peak aortic and pancreatic enhancement, with a slight longer time-to-peak enhancement.
Marin, D; Nelson, RC; Guerrisi, A; Barnhart, H; Schindera, ST; Passariello, R; Catalano, C
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