The purpose of this article was to verify the usefulness and feasibility of a single-phase scan for pulmonary artery/vein separation using a bolus-tracking technique and to evaluate the influence of patient characteristics on differentiation of computed tomography (CT) values between arteries and veins.
Material and Methods:
A total of 79 patients (60 male individuals and 19 female individuals, mean age 70 y) with suspected lung cancers or metastasis underwent contrast-enhanced chest CT and ultrasonic echocardiography. The CT values of the pulmonary arteries and veins were measured, and the difference in CT values was calculated. The relationships between the difference in CT values and age, weight, height, body surface area, body mass index, cardiac output, cardiac index, trigger time, trigger CT value, and pulmonary transit time were investigated using univariate linear regression analysis.
The CT values were 352.8±87.3 HU and 494.6±76.5 HU for the pulmonary arteries and veins, respectively (P<0.001). A significant but weak correlation was seen between the difference in CT values and the height (r=0.24), trigger time (r=0.35), cardiac index (r=−0.25), and pulmonary transit time (r=0.53) (P<0.05). There was no significant correlation between the difference in CT values and the remaining values.
The single-phase scan protocol using a bolus-tracking technique is feasible to differentiate CT values between pulmonary arteries and veins. The influence of patient characteristics on the differentiation of CT values lacks impact. Thus, the suggested protocol may be suitable independent of these factors after further validation.