JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Coronary CT angiography of patients with a normal body mass index using 80 kVp versus 100 kVp: a prospective, multicenter, multivendor randomized trial

Troy M LaBounty, Jonathon Leipsic, Rohan Poulter, David Wood, Mark Johnson, Monvadi B Srichai, Ricardo C Cury, Brett Heilbron, Cameron Hague, Fay Y Lin, Carolyn Taylor, John R Mayo, Yogesh Thakur, James P Earls, G B John Mancini, Allison Dunning, Millie J Gomez, James K Min
AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology 2011, 197 (5): W860-7
22021533

OBJECTIVE: We determined the effect of reduced 80-kVp tube voltage on the radiation dose and image quality of coronary CT angiography (CTA) in patients with a normal body mass index (BMI).

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A prospective, multicenter, multivendor trial was performed of 208 consecutive patients with a normal BMI (< 25 kg/m(2)) who had been referred for coronary CTA and did not have a history of coronary revascularization. Patients were randomized to 80-kVp imaging (n = 103) or 100-kVp imaging (n = 105). Three blinded readers graded interpretability and image quality. Study signal, noise, and contrast were also compared.

RESULTS: Imaging with 80 kVp instead of 100 kVp was associated with 47% lower median radiation dose (median dose-length product, 62.0 mGy · cm [interquartile range, 54.0-123.3 mGy · cm] vs 117.0 mGy · cm [110.0-225.9 mGy · cm], respectively; 0.9 mSv [0.8-1.7 mSv] vs 1.6 mSv [1.4-3.2 mSv]; p < 0.001 for each) with no significant difference in interpretability (99% vs 99%; p = 0.99) or image quality (median score, 4.0 [interquartile range, 3.6-4.0] vs 4.0 [interquartile range, 3.8-4.0]; p = 0.20). Studies obtained using 80 kVp were associated with 27% increased signal (mean ± SD, 756 ± 157 vs 594 ± 105 HU; p < 0.001), 25% higher contrast (890 ± 156 vs 709 ± 108 HU; p < 0.001), and 50% greater noise (55 ± 15 vs 37 ± 12 HU; p < 0.001) with resultant 15% and 16% decreases in signal-to-noise (mean ± SD, 15 ± 5 vs 17 ± 5; p < 0.001) and contrast-to-noise (mean ± SD, 17 ± 6 vs 21 ± 5; p < 0.001) ratios, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Coronary CTA using 80 kVp instead of 100 kVp was associated with a nearly 50% reduction in radiation dose with no significant difference in interpretability and noninferior image quality despite lower signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios. The use of 80-kVp tube voltage should be considered in dose-reduction strategies for coronary CTA of individuals with a normal BMI.

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