European Radiology

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 1683–1689 | Cite as

Effect of varying injection rates of a saline chaser on aortic enhancement in CT angiography: phantom study

  • Sebastian T. SchinderaEmail author
  • Rendon C. Nelson
  • Laurens Howle
  • Eli Nichols
  • David M. DeLong
  • Elmar M. Merkle
Contrast Media


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 



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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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian T. Schindera
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rendon C. Nelson
    • 1
  • Laurens Howle
    • 3
  • Eli Nichols
    • 3
  • David M. DeLong
    • 1
  • Elmar M. Merkle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Diagnostic, Interventional and Pediatric RadiologyInselspital Bern, University of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science DepartmentDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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