The effect of varying injection rates of a saline chaser on aortic enhancement in computed tomography (CT) angiography was determined. Single-level, dynamic CT images of a physiological flow phantom were acquired between 0 and 50 s after initiation of contrast medium injection. Four injection protocols were applied with identical contrast medium administration (150 ml injected at 5 ml/s). For baseline protocol A, no saline chaser was applied. For protocols B, C, and D, 50 ml of saline was injected at 2.5 ml/s, 5 ml/s, and 10 ml/s, respectively. Injecting the saline chaser at twice the rate as the contrast medium yielded significantly higher peak aortic enhancement values than injecting the saline at half or at the same rate as the contrast medium (P < 0.05). Average peak aortic enhancement (HU) measured 214, 214, 218, and 226 for protocols A, B, C, and D, respectively. The slower the saline-chaser injection rate, the longer the duration of 90% peak enhancement: 13.6, 12.2, and 11.7 s for protocols B, C, and D, respectively (P > 0.05). In CT angiography, saline chaser injected at twice the rate as the contrast medium leads to increased peak aortic enhancement and saline chaser injected at half the rate tends towards prolonging peak aortic enhancement plateau.
CT angiography Contrast media Saline-chaser technique
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Bracco Diagnostics (Princeton, N.J.) provided financial support for the design of the physiological aortic flow phantom, and for the utilized contrast medium volume. However, only the authors of this manuscript had access to the study’s data and the information submitted for publication.
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