JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effect of X-ray tube parameters, iodine concentration, and patient size on image quality in pulmonary computed tomography angiography: a chest-phantom-study

Zsolt Szucs-Farkas, Francis R Verdun, Gabriel von Allmen, Roberto L Mini, Peter Vock
Investigative Radiology 2008, 43 (6): 374-81
18496042

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this phantom study was to evaluate the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) in pulmonary computed tomography (CT)-angiography for 300 and 400 mg iodine/mL contrast media using variable x-ray tube parameters and patient sizes. We also analyzed the possible strategies of dose reduction in patients with different sizes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The segmental pulmonary arteries were simulated by plastic tubes filled with 1:30 diluted solutions of 300 and 400 mg iodine/mL contrast media in a chest phantom mimicking thick, intermediate, and thin patients. Volume scanning was done with a CT scanner at 80, 100, 120, and 140 kVp. Tube current-time products (mAs) varied between 50 and 120% of the optimal value given by the built-in automatic dose optimization protocol. Attenuation values and CNR for both contrast media were evaluated and compared with the volume CT dose index (CTDI(vol)). Figure of merit, calculated as CNR/CTDIvol, was used to quantify image quality improvement per exposure risk to the patient.

RESULTS: Attenuation of iodinated contrast media increased both with decreasing tube voltage and patient size. A CTDIvol reduction by 44% was achieved in the thin phantom with the use of 80 instead of 140 kVp without deterioration of CNR. Figure of merit correlated with kVp in the thin phantom (r = -0.897 to -0.999; P < 0.05) but not in the intermediate and thick phantoms (P = 0.09-0.71), reflecting a decreasing benefit of tube voltage reduction on image quality as the thickness of the phantom increased. Compared with the 300 mg iodine/mL concentration, the same CNR for 400 mg iodine/mL contrast medium was achieved at a lower CTDIvol by 18 to 40%, depending on phantom size and applied tube voltage.

CONCLUSIONS: Low kVp protocols for pulmonary embolism are potentially advantageous especially in thin and, to a lesser extent, in intermediate patients. Thin patients profit from low voltage protocols preserving a good CNR at a lower exposure. The use of 80 kVp in obese patients may be problematic because of the limitation of the tube current available, reduced CNR, and high skin dose. The high CNR of the 400 mg iodine/mL contrast medium together with lower tube energy and/or current can be used for exposure reduction.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
18496042
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"