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Pediatr Radiol. 2013 Nov;43(11):1491-501. doi: 10.1007/s00247-013-2723-0. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Clinically useful dilution factors for iodine and gadolinium contrast material: an animal model of pediatric digital subtraction angiography using state-of-the-art flat-panel detectors.

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Department of Radiology, Division of Pediatric Interventional Radiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, OH, 45229-3030, USA,



Iodinated and gadolinium contrast agents pose some risk for certain pediatric patients, including allergic-like reactions, contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). Digital flat-panel detectors enhance image quality during angiography and might allow use of more dilute contrast material to decrease risk of complications that might be dose-dependent, such as CIN and NSF.


To assess the maximum dilution factors for iodine- and gadolinium-based contrast agents suitable for vascular imaging with fluoroscopy and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) on digital flat-panel detectors in an animal model.


We performed selective catheterization of the abdominal aorta, renal artery and common carotid artery on a rabbit. In each vessel we performed fluoroscopy and DSA during contrast material injection using iodinated and gadolinium contrast material at 100%, 80%, 50%, 33% and 20% dilutions. An image quality score (0 to 3) was assigned by each of eight evaluators. Intracorrelation coefficient, paired t-test, one-way repeated analysis of variance, Spearman correlation and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis were applied to the data.


Overall the image quality scores correlated linearly with dilution levels. For iodinated contrast material, the optimum cut-off level for DSA when a score of at least 2 is acceptable is above 33%; it is above 50% when a score of 3 is necessary. For gadolinium contrast material, the optimum cut-off for DSA images is above 50% when a score of at least 2 is acceptable and above 80% when a score of 3 is necessary.


Knowledge of the relationship between image quality and contrast material dilution might allow a decrease in overall contrast load while maintaining appropriate image quality when using digital flat-panel detectors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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