OBJECTIVES: Using smaller volumes of contrast media (CM) in CT angiography (CTA) is desirable in terms of cost reduction and prevention of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). The purpose was to evaluate the feasibility of low CM volume in CTA of the aorta.
METHODS: 77 patients referred for CTA of the aorta were scanned using a standard MDCT protocol at 100 kV. A bolus of 50 ml CM (Iopromide 300 mg Iodine/ml) at a flow rate of 6 ml/s was applied (Iodine delivery rate IDR = 1.8 g/s; Iodine load 15 g) followed by a saline bolus of 40 ml at the same flow rate. Scan delay was determined by the test bolus method. Subjective image quality was assessed and contrast enhancement was measured at 10 anatomical levels of the aorta.
RESULTS: Diagnostic quality images were obtained for all patients, reaching a mean overall contrast enhancement of 324 ± 28 HU. Mean attenuation was 350 ± 60 HU at the thoracic aorta and 315 ± 83 HU at the abdominal aorta.
CONCLUSIONS: A straightforward low volume CM protocol proved to be technically feasible and led to CTA examinations reaching diagnostic image quality of the aorta at 100 kV. Based on these findings, the use of a relatively small CM bolus can be incorporated into routine clinical imaging.