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Effects of Right- Versus Left-Arm Injections of Contrast Material on Computed Tomography of the Head and Neck

You, Su Yeon MD; Yoon, Dae Young MD; Choi, Chul Soon MD; Chang, Suk Ki MD; Yun, Eun Joo MD; Seo, Young Lan MD; Lee, Yu-Jin MD; Moon, Jeung Hee MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: September-October 2007 - Volume 31 - Issue 5 - p 677-681
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318038d8fb
Neuroradiology: Original Article

Objective: To investigate the effects of the right- and left-arm injections of contrast material on image quality in computed tomography of the head and neck.

Methods: Sixty patients were prospectively and randomly assigned into 2 groups. Eighty milliliters of contrast material (iodine concentration, 300 mg/mL) was administered into the right (n = 30) or the left (n = 30) antecubital vein at a 2-mL/s injection rate. The attenuation of the carotid artery (CA) and the internal jugular vein (IJV) was measured at 1.5-second intervals in each patient. The mean attenuation values for CA and IJV, the time to reach peak attenuation, the duration of diagnostic window (both CA and IJV enhancement were greater than 150 HU), the perivenous artifacts, and the retrograde flow of contrast material column from the subclavian or brachiocephalic vein were statistically compared between patients with right-arm injection and those with left-arm injection.

Results: The mean attenuation values in CA and IJV were slightly higher in patients with right-arm injection than in those with left-arm injection, although no significant difference was reached (P = 0.06 for CA and 0.07 for IJV). The right-arm injection resulted in significantly reduced perivenous artifacts and retrograde flow of contrast material column. There were no significant differences in the time to reach the peak attenuation and in the duration of the diagnostic window between the 2 groups.

Conclusions: The right-arm injection of contrast material may provide better image quality in the computed tomography of the head and neck when compared with the left-arm injection.

From the Department of Radiology, Kangdong Seong-Sim Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine.

Received for publication October 19, 2006; accepted January 17, 2007.

Reprints: Dae Young Yoon, MD, Department of Radiology, Kangdong Seong-Sim Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, 445 Gil-dong Kangdong-Gu, Seoul, 134-701, South Korea (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.