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CT Angiography


 CT Angiography
Publication date: Available online 15 November 2016
Source:Academic Radiology
Author(s): Daniela Muenzel, Alexander A. Fingerle, Tina Zahel, Andreas Sauter, Alain Vlassenbroek, Martin Dobritz, Ernst J. Rummeny, Peter B. Noël
Rationale and ObjectivesThe study aimed to improve the detection of pulmonary embolism via an iodine contrast enhancement tool in patients who underwent suboptimal enhanced computed tomography angiography (CTA).Materials and MethodsWe evaluated the CT examinations of 41 patients who underwent CTA for evaluation of the pulmonary arteries which suffered from suboptimal contrast enhancement. The contrast enhancement of the reconstructed images was increased via a post-processing tool (vContrast). Image noise and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were assessed in eight different regions: main pulmonary artery, right and left pulmonary arteries, right and left segment arteries, muscle, subcutaneous fat, and bone. For subjective image assessment, three experienced radiologists evaluated the diagnostic quality.ResultsWhile employing the post-processing algorithm, the CNR for contrast-filled lumen and thrombus/muscle improves significantly by a factor of 1.7 (CNR without vContrast = 8.48 ± 6.79/CNR with vContrast = 14.46 ± 5.29) (P < 0.01). No strengthening of artifacts occurred, and the mean Hounsfield unit values of the muscle, subcutaneous fat, and the bone showed no significant changes. Subjective image analysis illustrated a significant improvement using post-processing for clinically relevant criteria such as diagnostic confidence.ConclusionsvContrast makes CT angiograms with inadequate contrast applicable for diagnostic evaluation, offering an improved visualization of the pulmonary arteries. In addition, vContrast can help in the significant reduction of the iodine contrast material.

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