Individualized CT Angiography Protocols for the Evaluation of the Aorta: A Feasibility Study

Madeleine Kok, Michiel de Haan, Casper Mihl, Nienke G. Eijsvoogel, Babs M. F. Hendriks, Anna M. Sailer, Kris Derks, Roald S. Schnerr, Gerardus Schurink, Joachim E. Wildberger, Marco Das*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Ionizing radiation and iodinated contrast media are potential drawbacks to repetitive follow-up CT angiography in current practice. The aim of the present study was to optimize radiation dose and contrast agent volume by using individualized CT angiography protocols. Materials and Methods: Eighty consecutive patients referred for CT angiography of the whole aorta were prospectively evaluated. Patients were divided into groups of patients with a body mass index (BMI) <28 kg/m(2) (group 1; n = 50) and those with a BMI >= 28 kg/m(2) (group 2; n = 30). A control group consisted of 50 consecutive patients who were retrospectively evaluated. CT angiography parameters on a second-generation dual-source scanner were 128 x 0.6-mm collimation, pitch of 0.9, rotation time of 0.33 seconds, tube voltages of 80/100/120 kVp (group 1/group 2/control), reference tube current of 400 mA, and image reconstruction at 1-mm/0.8-mm slice thickness (kernels, B30f [control] and I30f/strength 3 [groups 1/2]). The control group received 120 mL of contrast agent (300 mgI/mL) at 4.8 mL/s; groups 1 and 2 received 44 mL and 53 mL at 3.3 mL/s and 4 mL/s, respectively. Effective dose was evaluated for each patient. Image quality was determined by qualitative image analysis at the levels of the thoracic; abdominal, and pelvic aorta as nondiagnostic, diagnostic, good, or excellent, and quantitative image analysis was performed, including attenuation values and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). Results: Mean effective radiation dose values for CT angiography of the aorta were 3.7 mSv +/- 0.7 in group 1, 6.7 mSv +/- 1.4 in group 2, and 8.7 mSv +/- 1.9 in the control group (P <.001). Mean attenuation values and CNR levels were 334 HU +/- 66 and 16 8, respectively, in group 1, 277 HU 56 and 14 5 in group 2, and 305 HU 77 and 11 4 in the control group. Conclusions: Iterative reconstruction algorithms resulted in 23%-57% less radiation in combination with 55%-63% less contrast agent volume compared with standard CT protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-538
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


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