Purpose: To determine empirically the effect of scan parameters and postprocessing techniques on depiction accuracy of renal artery stenosis with spiral computed tomographic angiography.
Materials and methods: Critical (85%) and noncritical (45%) stenoses in the coronal plane were modeled in vitro and scanned with 12 combinations of collimation (1, 2, or 3 mm), table increment (pitch = 1-2),2 and reconstruction interval (0.5 or 1.0 mm). Five test images were generated for each spiral scanning technique: multiplanar reformation (MPR), maximum-intensity projections (MIPs: coronal MIP [MIPcor], coronal MIP targeted to phantom vessel and surrounding fat [target MIPcor]), transaxial imaging, and transaxial MIP.
Results: With 3-mm collimation, critical stenosis was overestimated to the point of occlusion on MIPcor images and underestimated on MPR and target MIPcor images. A 0.5-mm reconstruction interval was marginally beneficial for 1- and 2-mm collimation, but noise was prohibitive with 1-mm collimation.
Conclusion: Critical renal artery stenosis is best depicted with 2-mm collimation, 2-4-mm table increment, and 1-mm reconstruction interval.