Virtual Monochromatic Dual-Energy Aortoiliac CT Angiography With Reduced Iodine Dose: A Prospective Randomized Study.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2019 Feb;212(2):467-474. doi: 10.2214/AJR.18.19935. Epub 2018 Nov 26.
Patino M1, Parakh A1, Lo GC1, Agrawal M1, Kambadakone AR1, Oliveira GR1, Sahani DV1.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of performing abdominopelvic aortoiliac CT angiography (CTA) with 16.0 g of iodine contrast medium acquired with low-energy (40 and 50 keV) virtual monochromatic (VMC) images with rapid-kilovoltage-switching dual-energy CT.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 52 adults with abdominal aortoiliac aneurysm and prior 120-kVp single-energy CTA (SECTA) with 33 g iodine (standard dose) underwent follow-up dual-energy CTA (DECTA) with a 52% reduced iodine dose. Subjects were randomly assigned to a contrast medium protocol for DECTA examinations: one group (n = 26) received 16.2 g (270 mg I/mL) and the other (n = 26) received 16.0 g (320 mg I/mL). Two readers independently assessed SECTA and VMC DECTA datasets for image quality using a 5-point scale. Aortoiliac intravascular attenuation was measured, and ANOVA was used to compare measurements between VMC DECTA and SECTA images. In a subset of patients with DECTA after endovascular aortic repair, endoleak detection was evaluated on VMC images. Volume CT dose index, dose-length product, and size-specific dose estimate were compared between DECTA and SECTA.
RESULTS: All DECTA examinations (n = 52) were rated diagnostic with image quality scores comparable to those of 120-kVp single-energy CTA (40 keV, 4.2-4.4; 50 keV, 4.6-4.8; SECTA, 4.4-4.5). Intravascular attenuation was uniform in all reduced-iodine DECTA examinations and was significantly higher on 40- and 50-keV images than on standard-iodine-dose SECTA images (720 ± 125 HU and 482 ± 82 HU vs 303 ± 65 HU) (p < 0.01). There was no difference in intravascular attenuation between the 16.2-g and the 16.0-g doses (p = 0.82). Sensitivity and specificity for endoleak detection were 78.9-94.7% and 100%. Total dose-length product was lower for DECTA (788 ± 166 mGy · cm) than for SECTA (1114 ± 468 mGy · cm).
CONCLUSION: Low-energy VMC DECTA images (40 and 50 keV) acquired with two contrast protocols at approximately 50% reduced iodine dose (16.0 and 16.2 g) provide adequate intravascular attenuation and diagnostic quality for aortoiliac evaluation.