European Radiology

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 1938–1947 | Cite as

64-section multidetector CT of the upper abdomen: optimization of a saline chaser injection protocol for improved vascular and parenchymal contrast enhancement

  • Daniele MarinEmail author
  • Rendon C. Nelson
  • Antonino Guerrisi
  • Huiman Barnhart
  • Sebastian T. Schindera
  • Roberto Passariello
  • Carlo Catalano



To prospectively investigate the effect of varying the injection flow rates of a saline chaser on vascular and parenchymal contrast enhancement during abdominal MDCT.


100 consecutive patients were randomly assigned to four injection protocols. A fixed dose of contrast medium was administered followed by no saline (Protocol A) or 50 mL of saline at 2, 4, or 8 mL/s (Protocols B, C, and D). Peak, time-to-peak, and duration of 90% peak enhancement were determined for aorta, pancreas, and liver.


Aortic peak enhancement was significantly higher for Protocol D (369.5 HU) compared with Protocols A and B (332.9 HU and 326.0 HU, respectively; P < 0.05). Pancreatic peak enhancement was significantly higher for Protocols C and D (110.6 HU and 110.9 HU, respectively) compared to Protocol A (92.5 HU; P < 0.05). Aortic and pancreatic time-to-peak enhancement occurred significantly later for Protocol D compared with Protocol A (42.8 s vs. 36.1 s [P < 0.001] and 49.7 s vs. 45.3 s [P = 0.003]).


Injecting a saline chaser at high flow rates yields significantly higher peak aortic and pancreatic enhancement, with a slight longer time-to-peak enhancement.


Abdomen Tomography Spiral computed Contrast media Injections Intravenous Extravasation of diagnostic and therapeutic material 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniele Marin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rendon C. Nelson
    • 1
  • Antonino Guerrisi
    • 2
  • Huiman Barnhart
    • 3
  • Sebastian T. Schindera
    • 4
  • Roberto Passariello
    • 2
  • Carlo Catalano
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiological SciencesUniversity of Rome SapienzaRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics and BioinformaticsDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Diagnostic, Interventional and Pediatric RadiologyUniversity Hospital of BernBernSwitzerland

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