Contrast-medium-enhanced multiple-detector-row CT (MDCT) is a powerful technique for vascular and hepatic imaging. With increasingly faster acquisition speeds, which have become possible with latest 8- and 16-channel scanner systems, contrast medium delivery is becoming increasingly difficult. This article reviews the pharmacokinetic and physiologic principles of vascular and hepatic enhancement following the intravenous injection of iodinated contrast medium. The effects of user-selectable injection parameters, such as the injection rate, the injection duration, and the contrast medium concentration on arterial and parenchymal enhancement are elucidated. Equipped with this knowledge, rational injection strategies for CT angiographic protocols for scanners with different acquisition speeds are derived. Furthermore, injection and timing protocols, optimized for hepatic MDCT during the early arterial, late arterial, and parenchymal phases, are developed.
Computed tomography Angiography Contrast media effects Liver