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To investigate the feasibility of an 80-kVp protocol using a moderate concentration contrast material (MC-CM) for cerebral computed tomography angiography by comparison with a conventional 120-kVp protocol using a high concentration contrast material (HC-CM). Attenuation values and signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) were determined in a head phantom for 2 tube voltages (80 and 120 kVp) and 2 different iodine concentration contrast materials (HC-CM and MC-CM). Among 90 consecutive patients, 45 patients were scanned with 120 kVp and 150 mAs(eff) after administration of 70 mL of HC-CM (370 mg iodine [mgI]/mL), whereas the other 45 patients were scanned with 80 kVp and 370 mAs(eff) after administration of 70 mL of MC-CM (300 mgI/mL). The Hounsfield units (HU) of the internal carotid artery T junction, SNR, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), subjective degree of arterial enhancement, image noise, sharpness of the cerebral arterial boundary, and overall diagnostic image quality were compared between the 2 groups. The mean attenuation of the internal carotid artery T junction, SNR, and CNR was significantly higher in the 80 kVp with MC-CM group (379.2, 33.7, and 31.1 HU, respectively) than in the 120 kVp with HC-CM group (282.2, 31.1, and 27.2 HU, respectively). The 80-kVp protocol resulted in significantly higher score in arterial enhancement, sharpness of the cerebral arteries, and overall diagnostic image quality. The effective dose of 80 kVp (0.7 mSv) was 22.2% lower than that of 120 kVp (0.9 mSv). The use of 80 kVp with MC-CM improved arterial enhancement, SNR, and CNR and provided superior quality images using a smaller amount of iodine and a lower radiation dose than the conventional protocol of 120 kVp with HC-CM.


Eun-Suk Cho, Tae-Sub Chung, Dae Kun Oh, Hyun Seok Choi, Sang Hyun Suh, Hyeon-Kyeong Lee, Kyung Hee Lee. Cerebral computed tomography angiography using a low tube voltage (80 kVp) and a moderate concentration of iodine contrast material: a quantitative and qualitative comparison with conventional computed tomography angiography. Investigative radiology. 2012 Feb;47(2):142-7

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PMID: 22104960

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