Purpose: We hypothesized that cerebral CT angiogram performed using third-generation reconstruction algorithm and lower contrast dose-low-kVp technique (LD-CTA) will provide better image quality when compared with regular contrast dose CTA at 120 kVp using a sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction algorithm (ND-CTA). Methods: Retrospective imaging review of 100 consecutive patients (50 each in LD- and ND-CTA groups). Two readers independently assessed the subjective image quality across multiple vascular segments on a Likert-like scale. Differences in contrast dose, CT dose index (CTDI), and dose length product (DLP) were compared using Mann-Whitney U test. Fisher’s exact test was used to compare subjective image quality. Similarly, contrast- and signal-to-noise ratios (CNR and SNR) were compared in the mid-M1 MCA vessels bilaterally and the mid-basilar artery using Mann-Whitney U test. Interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated for the SNR/CNR values. Results: Both observers showed excellent correlation in subjective image quality (mean percentage agreement of 95.2% for group 1 versus 89.2% for group 2). LD-CTA group showed better SNR and CNR (p < 0.0001) for both MCA vessels and the mid-basilar artery. Interclass correlation coefficient showed moderate correlation (0.51–0.63) between readers. LD-CTA group also used lower contrast (49 cc versus 97 cc in ND-CTA) and had lower radiation exposure (DLP/CTDI for both groups 268.3/80.7 vs 519.5/36.08, both < 0.0001). Conclusion: Next-generation reconstruction algorithm and low-kV scanning significantly improved image quality on cerebral CTA images despite lower contrast dose and, in addition, have lower radiation exposure.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
GB has a research grant from the Siemens AG, Forchheim, Germany, that is unrelated to the submitted work. The rest of the authors report no relationships that could be construed as a conflict of interest.
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
- Cerebral angiography