Identification of the Adamkiewicz artery (AKA) using CT angiography (CTA) is crucial in patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) or aortic dissection (AD). The purpose of this study was to compare the AKA detection rate of intravenous injection with a 64-slice MDCT (IV64) versus a 16-slice MDCT (IV16) as well as by CTA using intra-arterial injection with a 16-slice MDCT (IA16). A retrospective review of 160 consecutive patients who underwent CTA was performed. There were 108 TAA and 52 AD cases, 105 of whom were examined with IV64, 15 with IV16, and 40 with IA16. The AKA detectability for each imaging method was assessed, and the factors influencing the detectability were analyzed by multivariate analysis. The detection rates for IV64, IV16, and IA16 were 85.7, 60.0, and 80.0 %, respectively, with IV64 being more sensitive than IV16 (P = 0.025). The detection rate for AD patients was 66.7 % with IV64, which was similar to IV16 (57.1 %) and IA16 (66.8 %). On the other hand, the detection rate for TAA patients was 93.3 % with IV64, which was higher than IV16 (62.5 %, P = 0.021) and similar to IA16 (88.0 %). Multivariate analysis demonstrated the independent factors for AKA detectability were TAA versus AD (P = 0.005, Odds ratio = 3.98) and IV64 versus IV16 (P = 0.037, Odds ratio = 4.03). The detection rate was higher for IV64 than for IV16, especially for TAA patients, while the rate was similar between IV64 and invasive IA16. A 64-slice MDCT thus provides a less invasive visualization of the AKA.