European Radiology

, 17:2531 | Cite as

Assessment of the optimal temporal window for intravenous CT cholangiography

  • Sebastian T. SchinderaEmail author
  • Rendon C. Nelson
  • Erik K. Paulson
  • David M. DeLong
  • Elmar M. Merkle


The optimal temporal window of intravenous (IV) computed tomography (CT) cholangiography was prospectively determined. Fifteen volunteers (eight women, seven men; mean age, 38 years) underwent dynamic CT cholangiography. Two unenhanced images were acquired at the porta hepatis. Starting 5 min after initiation of IV contrast infusion (20 ml iodipamide meglumine 52%), 15 pairs of images at 5-min intervals were obtained. Attenuation of the extrahepatic bile duct (EBD) and the liver parenchyma was measured. Two readers graded visualization of the higher-order biliary branches. The first biliary opacification in the EBD occurred between 15 and 25 min (mean, 22.3 min ± 3.2) after initiation of the contrast agent. Biliary attenuation plateaued between the 35- and the 75-min time points. Maximum hepatic parenchymal enhancement was 18.5 HU ± 2.7. Twelve subjects demonstrated poor or non-visualization of higher-order biliary branches; three showed good or excellent visualization. Body weight and both biliary attenuation and visualization of the higher-order biliary branches correlated significantly (P<0.05). For peak enhancement of the biliary tree, CT cholangiography should be performed no earlier than 35 min after initiation of IV infusion. For a fixed contrast dose, superior visualization of the biliary system is achieved in subjects with lower body weight.


Intravenous CT cholangiography Biliary system Optimal temporal enhancement window 



The authors are grateful to Richard Youngblood, MA, Associate in Research, for reviewing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian T. Schindera
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rendon C. Nelson
    • 1
  • Erik K. Paulson
    • 1
  • David M. DeLong
    • 1
  • Elmar M. Merkle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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