Pancreas: Optimal Scan Delay for Contrast-enhanced Multi-Detector Row CT
Goshima S, Kanematsu M, Kondo H, Yokoyama R. Miyoshi T, Kato H, Tsuge Y, Shiratori Y, Hoshi H, Onozuka M, Moriyama N, Bae KT.
PURPOSE: To prospectively determine optimal scan delays for multiphasic contrast medium- enhanced imaging of the pancreas with multi- detector row computed tomography (CT).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was approved by an institutional review committee, and patients gave written informed consent. One hundred ninety-one patients underwent three-phase CT of the pancreas after receiving intravenous contrast medium with a fixed duration injection of 30 seconds. Patients were prospectively assigned among four groups with scan delays of 25, 45, and 65 seconds (group 1); 30, 50, and 70 seconds (group 2); 35, 55, and 75 seconds (group 3); and 40, 60, and 80 seconds (group 4). Mean CT numbers of abdominal aorta, spleen, pancreatic parenchyma, superior mesenteric artery and vein, splenic vein, and hepatic parenchyma were measured, and increases in contrast enhancement on enhanced images were assessed. Qualitative analysis was performed with a four-point scale.
RESULTS: Abdominal aorta and superior mesenteric artery enhanced at a mean of 35 seconds from the start of injection (both P < .001). Pancreatic parenchyma enhanced most intensely at 35-45 seconds (P < .001) with a peak enhancement at the mean of 40 seconds. Liver parenchyma enhanced most intensely at 55-65 seconds with a peak at 60 seconds (P < .001). The mean time to peak enhancement was 45 seconds for the splenic vein and 55 seconds for the superior mesenteric vein. Qualitative results were in good agreement with quantitative results (both P < .001).
CONCLUSION: With the injection protocol used in this study, optimal scan delays for imaging the pancreas were 30-35 seconds for the abdominal aorta and the superior mesenteric artery, 35-45 seconds for the pancreas, 45 seconds for the splenic vein, and 55 seconds or later for the liver.