Triple Arterial Phase CT of the Liver with Radiation Dose Equivalent to That of Single Arterial Phase CT: Initial Experience.
Radiology. 2018 Oct;289(1):111-118. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2018172875. Epub 2018 Jun 19.
Brehmer K1, Brismar TB1, Morsbach F1, Svensson A1, Stål P1, Tzortzakakis A1, Voulgarakis N1, Fischer MA1.
Purpose To develop and evaluate a triple arterial phase CT liver protocol with a similar radiation dose to that of standard single arterial phase CT in study subjects suspected of having hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Materials and Methods The study consisted of a retrospective part A for protocol development (n = 15) and a prospective part B to evaluate diagnostic accuracy (n = 38). All 53 participants underwent perfusion CT with 50 mL contrast material between August 2013 and September 2014. Group B underwent an additional standard multiphasic liver CT examination with 120 mL of contrast material (range, 70-143 mL). Image sets from triple arterial phase imaging were reconstructed from perfusion CT by fusing images from three dedicated arterial time points. Triple arterial phase CT and standard single arterial phase CT were compared by two readers, who assessed subjective image quality and HCC detection rate. A third reader served as reference reader and assessed objective image quality. The paired Student t test, Wilcoxon signed rank test, jackknife alternative free-response receiver operating characteristic (JAFROC), and JAFROC curve were applied. Results The mean volume CT dose index was 11.6 mGy for triple arterial phase CT and 11.9 mGy for standard single arterial phase CT (P = .73). Triple arterial phase CT showed lower image noise and better contrast-to-noise ratio compared with standard single arterial phase CT (P < .001 and P = .032, respectively); however, there was no significant difference in lesion-to-liver-contrast ratio (P = .31). Subjective image quality was good for both protocols. The detection rate of the 65 HCC lesions was 82% for reader 1 and 83% for reader 2 at triple arterial phase CT and 80% for reader 1 and 77% for reader 2 at standard single arterial phase CT (P = .4). Conclusion Triple arterial phase imaging is feasible at the same radiation dose as that used for standard single arterial phase CT. Triple arterial phase imaging provides equivalent to superior image quality and equal HCC detection rate despite the use of less than half the contrast material dose used at standard single arterial phase CT.