Contrast material for combined abdominal and pelvic CT: can cost be reduced by increasing the concentration and decreasing the volume?
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine if enhancement provided by a smaller volume of a more concentrated nonionic contrast agent is equivalent to that provided by a larger volume of a less concentrated nonionic agent on dynamic, incremental abdominal and pelvic CT. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: During a 4-month period, 168 patients undergoing dynamic incremental abdominal and pelvic CT received 150 ml iopamidol-300 (45 g iodine). During the following 4 months, 119 patients received 125 ml ioversol-320 (40 g iodine). The same automated injector and scanning parameters were used for both groups. Absolute enhancement of the liver at three levels and of abdominal and pelvic vessels was calculated and analyzed by using Student's t-test. RESULTS: Arterial and venous enhancement in the upper part of the abdomen, at the level of the iliac crest, or in the pelvis was not significantly different with the two contrast agents. Both ioversol and iopamidol provided the same mean enhancement of the hepatic parenchyma at the level of the hepatic veins (45 H) and at the level of the portal vein (49 H). At the level of the gallbladder fossa, enhancement of liver parenchyma with the two contrast agents was significantly different (p = .04): mean enhancement was 45 H for iopamidol and 42 H for ioversol. A retrospective analysis of the liver enhancement profiles from 50 randomly selected patients from each group showed no significant difference in parenchymal enhancement. CONCLUSION: For dynamic abdominal and pelvic CT, no statistically significant difference was found between the mean enhancement of the liver and abdominal vessels after administration of 125 ml of ioversol-320 and that after administration of 150 ml of iopamidol-300. Therefore, 125 ml of ioversol-320 can be used instead of 150 ml of iopamidol-300 without compromising image quality. At current prices, this will result in savings of approximately 18% per patient.
Baker, ME; Beam, C; Leder, R; Gulliver, D; Paine, SS; Dunnick, NR
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