Helical CT protocols for the abdomen and pelvis: a survey

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000 Jul;175(1):109-13. doi: 10.2214/ajr.175.1.1750109.


Objective: We surveyed members of the Society of Computed Body Tomography/Magnetic Resonance to evaluate current techniques used for helical CT in the abdomen and pelvis.

Materials and methods: The survey was distributed to 70 members (36 institutions) of the Society of Computed Body Tomography/Magnetic Resonance. The survey included general questions related to abdominal and pelvic helical CT and also asked the members to write a protocol for 12 hypothetical requisitions.

Results: Thirty-two members (46%) responded, representing 28 institutions (78%). The number of protocols for helical CT of the abdomen and pelvis at each institution ranges from 2 to 35 (median, 11). IV contrast material is administered for 90% (median) of abdominal and pelvic CT examinations. Nonionic contrast material is used for 68% (median) of these examinations. IV contrast material is used by 100% of institutions for tumor staging protocols except for one institution that does not use IV contrast material for lymphoma staging. Fifty percent of the institutions obtain two- or three-phases of liver images for breast cancer staging. For all protocols, the average collimation and reconstruction interval is 7 mm except for renal (5 mm) and adrenal (4 mm) protocols. Rectal contrast material is administered most commonly for colon cancer staging (39% of institutions).

Conclusion: There is a wide range in the number of protocols used for helical CT in the abdomen and pelvis among the responding institutions. Most protocols include use of nonionic IV contrast material injected at a rate of 3 ml/sec and a collimation of 7 mm.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Protocols
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography, Abdominal
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed* / methods