Should the dose of contrast medium be determined solely on the basis of body weight regardless of the patient’s sex?
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The aim of this study was to evaluate prospectively the difference in contrast enhancement of liver parenchyma between male and female subjects when the total amount of contrast material is determined by the total body weight (TBW).
Materials and methods
Computed tomography of the abdomen was performed with a total amount of iodine of 597 ± 3.9 mg I/kg (mean ± SD) over a mean ± SD total injection time of 30 ± 0.26 s. Postcontrast attenuation during the portal venous phase was measured in the liver parenchyma, portal vein, and aorta. These values were summed for each and compared to those obtained before contrast injection. A total of 565 consecutive patients without a history of underlying liver/heart disease, including 297 male and 268 female subjects (age 16–92 years, mean 67 years) were scanned and analyzed using a two-tailed t-test.
The difference between precontrast and the portal venous phase in the male subjects was 315.4 ± 40.5 HU (mean ± SD), and that in female subjects was 358.6 ± 44.8 HU. This difference was statistically significant (P < 0.0001).
The contrast enhancement in females was 13.7% higher than that in males when the amount of iodine administered was based on the TBW. The difference can presumably be attributed to the difference in fat and muscle components. This result suggests that the amount of contrast material used in females should be reduced according to this difference.
Key wordsComputed tomography Contrast media Sexual dimorphism
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