Background: Low tube potential-high tube current computed tomography (CT) imaging allows reduction in iodine-based contrast dose and may extend the benefit of routine contrast-enhanced CT exams to patients at risk of nephrotoxicity. Purpose: To determine the ability of an iodine contrast reduction algorithm to maintain diagnostic image quality for contrast-enhanced abdominal CT. Material and Methods: CT exams with iodine contrast reduction were prescribed for patients at risk for renal dysfunction. The iodine contrast reduction algorithm combines weight-based contrast volume reduction with patient width-based low tube potential selection and bolus-tracking. Control exams with routine iodine dose were selected based on weight, width, and scan protocol. Three radiologists evaluated image quality and diagnostic confidence using a 4-point scale (<2 acceptable). Another radiologist assessed contrast reduction indications and measured portal vein and liver contrast-to-noise ratios. Results: Forty-six contrast reduction algorithm and control exams were compared (mean creatinine 1.6 vs. 1.2 mg/dL, P ≤ 0.0001). Thirty-nine contrast reduction patients had an eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73m2 and 15 had single or transplanted kidney. Mean iodine contrast dose was lower in the contrast reduction group (20.9 vs. 39.4 g/mL, P < 0.0001). Diagnostic confidence was rated as acceptable in 95% (131/138) of contrast reduction and 100% of control exams (1.18–1.28 vs. 1.02–1.13, respectively; P > 0.06). Liver attenuation and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were similar (P = 0.08), but portal vein attenuation and CNR were lower with contrast-reduction (mean 176 vs. 198 HU, P = 0.02; 13 vs. 16, P = 0.0002). Conclusion: This size-based contrast reduction algorithm using low kV and bolus tracking reduced iodine contrast dose by 50%, while achieving acceptable image quality in 95% of exams.
- X-ray computed tomography
- renal insufficiency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging