To compare image quality and radiation dose of thoracoabdominal computed tomography (CT) angiography at 80 and 100 kVp and to assess the feasibility of reducing contrast medium volume from 60 to 45 mL at 80 kVp.Materials and Methods:
This retrospective study had institutional review board approval; informed consent was waived. Seventy-five patients who had undergone thoracoabdominal 64-section multidetector-row CT angiography were divided into 3 groups of 25 patients each. Patients of groups A (tube voltage, 100 kVp) and B (tube voltage, 80 kVp) received 60 mL of contrast medium at 4 mL/s. Patients of group C (tube voltage, 80 kVp) received 45 mL of contrast medium at 3 mL/s. Mean aortoiliac attenuation, image noise, and contrast-to-noise ratio were assessed. The measurement of radiation dose was based on the volume CT dose index. Three independent readers assessed the diagnostic image quality.Results:
Mean aortoiliac attenuation for group B (621.1 ± 90.5 HU) was significantly greater than for groups A and C (485.2 ± 110.5 HU and 483.1 ± 119.8 HU; respectively) (P < 0.001). Mean image noise was significantly higher for groups B and C than for group A (P < 0.05). The contrast-to-noise ratio did not significantly differ between the groups (group A, 35.0 ± 13.8; group B, 31.7 ± 10.1; group C, 27.3 ± 11.5; P = 0.08). Mean volume CT dose index in groups B and C (5.2 ± 0.4 mGy and 4.9 ± 0.3 mGy, respectively) were reduced by 23.5% and 27.9%, respectively, compared with group A (6.8 ± 0.8 mGy) (P < 0.001). The average overall diagnostic image quality for the 3 groups was graded as good or better. The score for group A was significantly higher than that for group C (P < 0.01), no difference was seen between group A and B (P = 0.92).Conclusions:
Reduction of tube voltage from 100 to 80 kVp for thoracoabdominal CT angiography significantly reduces radiation dose without compromising image quality. Reduction of contrast medium volume to 45 mL at 80 kVp resulted in lower but still diagnostically acceptable image quality.