The impact of body compositions on contrast medium enhancement in chest CT: a randomised controlled trial

BJR Open. 2023 Oct 18;5(1):20230054. doi: 10.1259/bjro.20230054. eCollection 2023.


Objective: To compare a fixed-volume contrast medium (CM) protocol with a combined total body weight (TBW) and body composition-tailored protocol in chest CT.

Methods and materials: Patients referred for routine contrast enhanced chest CT were prospectively categorised as normal, muscular or overweight. Patients were accordingly randomised into two groups; Group 1 received a fixed CM protocol. Group 2 received CM volume according to a body composition-tailored protocol. Objective image quality comparisons between protocols and body compositions were performed. Differences between groups and correlation were analysed using t-test and Pearson's r.

Results: A total of 179 patients were included: 87 in Group 1 (mean age, 51 ± 17 years); and 92 in Group 2 (mean age, 52 ± 17 years). Compared to Group 2, Group 1 showed lower vascular attenuation in muscular (mean 346 Hounsfield unit (HU) vs 396 HU; p = 0.004) and overweight categories (mean 342 HU vs 367 HU; p = 0.12), while normal category patients showed increased attenuation (385 vs 367; p = 0.61). In Group 1, strongest correlation was found between attenuation and TBW in muscular (r = -.49, p = 0.009) and waist circumference in overweight patients (r = -.50, p = 0.005). In Group 2, no significant correlations were found for the same body size parameters. In Group 1, 13% of the overweight patients was below 250 HU (p = 0.053).

Conclusion: A combined TBW and body composition-tailored CM protocol in chest CT resulted in more homogenous enhancement and fewer outliers compared to a fixed-volume protocol.

Advances in knowledge: This is, to our knowledge, the first study to investigate the impact of various body compositions on contrast medium enhancement in chest CT.