Factors influencing vascular and hepatic enhancement at CT: Experimental study on injection protocol using a canine model

Joon Koo Han, Ah Young Kim, Ki Yeol Lee, Joon Beom Seo, Tae Kyung Kim, Byung Ihn Choi, Chung Sik Lhee, Man Chung Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this work was to evaluate the effects of contrast medium injection parameters on aortic, portal vein, and hepatic enhancement at spiral CT and to assess optimal injection protocol for hepatic CT. Method: Ten 15 kg dogs underwent single level dynamic CT through the hepatic hilum at 5 s intervals just after the injection of contrast medium for 3 min. With use of different volumes (1, 2, and 3 ml/kg), injection rates (0.5, 1, and 2 ml/s), and concentrations (150, 200, and 300 mg/ml), a total of 270 spiral CT scans were performed. In each scan, time-attenuation curves of aorta, portal vein, and liver were obtained. The degree of maximum contrast enhancement (Imax), time to maximum enhancement (Tmax), and time to equilibrium phase (Teq) for to each injection protocol were analyzed. Results: Alterations in contrast material volume, injection rate, and concentration had significant impact on contrast enhancement of the liver. With increasing volume of contrast medium, Imax, Tmax, and Teq of aorta, portal vein, and liver increased (p < 0.005). With increasing rate of injection, on the other hand, Imax of aorta and liver increased (p < 0.05), but Tmax and Teq decreased (p < 0.005). Change of concentration of contrast medium had a significant effect on Imax of vessels (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Maximum contrast enhancement of liver and vessels was influenced mainly by injection volume of contrast medium and the time to peak enhancement by injection rate of contrast medium. Under given amounts of contrast medium, therefore, the strategy of increasing volume by dilution and faster injection might give better Imax values without penalty for the duration of an optimal temporal window (Tmax and Teq).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-406
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal studies
  • Computed tomography
  • Contrast media
  • Liver, neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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