Cost-effective use of low-osmolality contrast media for CT of the liver: evaluation of liver enhancement provided by various doses of iohexol.
OBJECTIVE: Because of pending efforts to reform health care in the United States, judicious use of low-osmolality contrast media is important. We studied the effects of using various concentrations and volumes of iohexol, compared with the conventional dose and concentration of diatrizoate meglumine used for CT, to determine if a more cost-effective dose results in diagnostically efficacious liver enhancement. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 902 patients received one of nine different doses of IV contrast media. Eight doses of iohexol were used: 125 ml of iohexol 350 (350 mg l/ml, 44 g l/dose), 100 ml of iohexol 350 (35 g l/dose), 150 ml of iohexol 300 (300 mg l/ml, 45 g l/dose), 120 ml of iohexol 300 (36 g l/dose), 100 ml of iohexol 300 (30 g l/dose), 175 ml of iohexol 240 (240 mg l/ml, 42 g l/dose), 150 ml of iohexol 240 (36 g l/dose), and 125 ml of iohexol 240 (30 g l/dose). A single dose (150 ml) of diatrizoate meglumine 60% (w/v) was used (42 g l/dose). Contrast material was injected at a rate of 2 ml/sec. Scanning began 35-45 sec after injection. Quantitative analysis of enhancement was performed by obtaining region-of-interest measurements through the liver on scans obtained before and after injection of contrast material. Mean and maximum changes in hepatic density and mean time to maximum enhancement were measured. Mean time-density curves were subsequently derived for each dose of contrast material. Qualitative analysis of enhancement was performed by using subjective, previously defined criteria. All studies were interpreted in a double-blind fashion. RESULTS: Mean hepatic enhancement was greater with 125 ml of iohexol 350 and 150 ml of iohexol 300 than with other doses of contrast material (p < .05). Both 125 ml of iohexol 350 and 150 ml of iohexol 300 produced actual hepatic enhancement of more than 50 H for over 60 sec. The greatest maximum increase in hepatic density occurred with 125 ml of iohexol 350. When analyzed qualitatively, 150 ml of iohexol 300 resulted in the highest percentage of optimum enhancement. CONCLUSION: According to quantitative analysis, 125 ml of iohexol 350 administered at a rate of 2 ml/sec produces the best enhancement, whereas according to qualitative analysis, 150 ml of iohexol 300 produces the best enhancement. All doses of iohexol 240 provide poor enhancement compared with a conventional dose of contrast material of 150 ml of diatrizoate meglumine 60% or 150 ml of iohexol 300. A moderate cost savings can be achieved by using 125 ml of iohexol 350 for dynamic sequential CT.
Bree, RL; Parisky, YR; Bernardino, ME; Costello, P; Leder, R; Brown, PC
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