Aorto-iliac multidetector-row CT angiography with low kV settings: improved vessel enhancement and simultaneous reduction of radiation dose.

Research paper by B B Wintersperger, T T Jakobs, P P Herzog, S S Schaller, K K Nikolaou, C C Suess, C C Weber, M M Reiser, C C Becker

Indexed on: 22 Dec '04Published on: 22 Dec '04Published in: European Radiology


The aim of the study was to implement an abdominal CT angiography protocol using 100 kVp and to compare SNR and CNR, as well as subjective image quality, to a standard CT angiography protocol using 120 kVp on a 16 detector-row CT scanner. Forty-eight patients were referred for routine abdominal CT angiography on a 16 detector-row CT scanner. Patients were scanned using either 120 or 100 kVp at constant mAs settings. Vessel opacification was provided by automated contrast injection using similar injection protocols. Density measurements were performed along the aorto-iliac axis with SNR and CNR calculation. In addition, the estimated effective patient radiation dose was calculated. Results of both protocols were compared. The 100-kVp protocol (432+/-80 HU) showed a significantly higher vessel density than the 120-kVp (333+/-90 HU; P<0.001) protocol, corresponding to an average increase in signal intensity of 30.7%. SNR (36.0 vs 37.0) and CNR (31.1 vs 31.7) for the 100-kV protocol were not significantly lower that those for the standard protocol (P=0.79 and P=0.87), whilst the average estimated dose was significantly lower using the 100-kVp protocol (6.7+/-0.4 vs 10.1+/-1.2 mSv; P<0.0001). Tube kVp reduction from 120 to 100 kVp allows for significant reduction of patient dose in abdominal CT angiography, without significant change in SNR,CNR and image quality.