CT-angiography protocol with low dose radiation and low volume contrast medium for non-cardiac chest pain

Emin Cakmakci, Huseyin Ozkurt, Safiye Tokgoz, Esra Karabay, Berna Ucan, Melek Pala Akdogan, Muzaffer Basak


Aim: To evaluate the diagnostic quality of a new multiple detector-row computed tomography angiography (MDCT-A) protocol using low dose radiation and low volume contrast medium techniques for evaluation of non-cardiac chest pain.
Methods: Forty-five consecutive patients with clinically suspected noncardiac chest pain and requiring contrast-enhanced chest computed tomography (CT) were examined. The patients were assigned to the protocol, with 80 kilovolt (peak) (kV[p]) and 150 effective milliampere-second (eff mA-s). In our study group, 40 mL of low osmolar contrast material was administered at 3.0 mL/s.
Results: In the study group, four patients with pulmonary embolism, four with pleural effusion, two with ascending aortic aneurysm and eight patients with pneumonic consolidation were detected. The mean attenuation of the pulmonary truncus and ascendant aortic locations was considered 264±44 and 249±51 HU, respectively. The mean effective radiation dose was 0.83 mSv for MDCT-A.
Conclusions: Pulmonary artery and the aorta scanning simultaneously was significantly reduced radiation exposure with the mentioned dose saving technique. Additionally, injection of low volume (40 cc) contrast material may reduce the risk of contrast induced nephropathy, therefore, facilitate the diagnostic approach. This technique can be applied to all cases and particularly patients at high risk of contrast induced nephropathy due to its similar diagnostic quality with a low dose and high levels of arteriovenous enhancement simultaneously.