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J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2013 May-Jun;37(3):443-9. doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318283bb5c.

Comparison of multidetector computed tomography angiography and cholangiography performed at 80 and 120 kVp in live liver donors.

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  • 1Yale Diagnostic Radiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.



The objective of this study was to compare the radiation exposure and image quality of contrast-enhanced multidetector computed tomography angiography (CTA) and computed tomography cholangiography (CTC) performed for living liver donor evaluation using 80 and 120 kVp.


Ninety-three potential liver donors who underwent preoperative contrast-enhanced 64 multidetector CTA and CTC were retrospectively divided into 2 groups: at 80 and at 120 kVp. An institutional review board waiver was obtained. Signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio of the hepatic artery and common bile duct were obtained. The dose-length product was recorded. Image quality and visibility of hepatic artery and biliary tract anatomy were evaluated. Mann-Whitney U test was used for statistical evaluation.


Mean hepatic artery/common bile duct signal-to-noise ratio was 28.9/28.6 (SD, 14.2/10.0) at 80 kVp and 27.6/25.8 (SD, 8.0/6.2) at 120 kVp (P = 0.61/0.099). Mean hepatic artery/common bile duct contrast-to-noise ratio was 24.8/23.3 (SD, 12.9/8.6) at 80 kVp and 22.2/19.3 (SD, 7.7/5.0) at 120 kVp (P = 0.76/0.005). Mean CTA/CTC dose-length product was 279/281 (SD, 42/52) mGy-cm at 80 kVp and 407/451 (SD, 208/243) mGy-cm at 120 kVp (P = 0.026/0.002). Computed tomography cholangiography image quality and visibility of biliary tract anatomy were not significantly different at 80 versus 120 kVp (all P > 0.13). Computed tomography angiography image quality was significantly lower (P < 0.01), and the noise scores significantly higher (P < 0.01) at 80 versus 120 kVp, but diagnostic.


Contrast-enhanced CTA and CTC performed at 80 kVp result in comparable image quality and anatomical evaluation with reduced radiation exposure when compared with 120 kVp.

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