Recommended iodine dose for multiphasic contrast-enhanced mutidetector-row computed tomography imaging of liver for assessing hypervascular hepatocellular carcinoma: multicenter prospective study in 77 general hospitals in Japan

Acad Radiol. 2013 Sep;20(9):1130-6. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2013.05.003.


Rationale and objectives: To determine the recommended iodine dose of contrast material (CM) for hepatic arterial-dominant phase (HAP) and hepatic parenchymal phase (HPP) imaging to assess hypervascular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Materials and methods: This was a prospective study including 348 patients with hypervascular HCC in 77 hospitals as a postmarketing surveillance to investigate the effects of body weight-tailored dose of CM (300 mgI/mL of iohexol) for hepatic multiphasic contrast-enhanced multidetector-row computed tomography imaging. Informed consent was obtained from all patients who were enrolled. The tumor-to-liver contrast (TLC) of HAP images was assessed qualitatively (QL-TLC) and quantitatively (QT-TLC [HU]; computed tomography [CT] value of tumor-CT value of hepatic parenchyma). Minimal and sufficient QT-TLC were defined as CT values corresponding to the median and 75% of QL-TLC assigned with "good," respectively. The recommended iodine dose was estimated by the relationship between iodine dose (mgI/kg) and QT-TLC.

Results: There was a good correlation between QL-TLC and QT-TLC. The recommended iodine dose of CM for HAP imaging was considered to be in the range of 567-647 mgI/kg based on minimal (33.7 HU) and sufficient QT-TLC (40.9 HU). Meanwhile, the recommended dose of CM for HPP imaging was 572 mgI/kg as a dose that gives hepatic enhancement more than 50 HU during HPP imaging.

Conclusions: The recommended iodine dose of CM for HAP and HPP imaging may be different, being 567-647 mgI/kg and 572 mgI/kg, respectively, in assessing hypervascular HCC.

Keywords: Computed tomography; contrast material; hepatocellular carcinoma; liver.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology*
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Hospitals, General / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Iohexol* / administration & dosage
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data


  • Contrast Media
  • Iohexol