Radiologists Cristopher Meyer, MD, and Achala Vagal, MD, of the University of Cincinnati have developed a new technique for capturing images of chest veins that eases diagnosis of venous diseases.
Vagal, an assistant professor and a radiologist at University Hospital, said that rapid-imaging CT scanners were almost too fast for venous studies, with too many artifacts making it difficult for meaningful conclusions by the time the contrast reached the patient’s veins.
Now radiologists can compensate for the extra time it takes contrast agents to reach the veins, and useful CT scans can be created.
For the new protocol for capturing chest vein images, the CT technologist prepares two syringes of contrast: The first includes 140 cubic centimeters (cc) of undiluted contrast; the second contains a diluted mixture of 100 cc of contrast and 10 cc of saline solution.
Both syringes are given consecutively at a rate of four cc per second, with a 60-second delay between the final injection and initiation of the CT scan.
Vagal said the delayed scan gave them enough time for both the arteries and the veins to become opaque, providing crisper images that make clinical determinations easier.