SAGE Journals

Ultra-low-dose non-contrast CT and CT angiography can be used interchangeably for assessing maximal abdominal aortic diameter

Posted on 2022-10-13 - 12:08

Routine CT scans may increasingly be used to document normal aortic size and to detect incidental abdominal aortic aneurysms.


To determine whether ultra-low-dose non-contrast CT (ULDNC-CT) can be used instead of the gold standard CT angiography (CTA) for assessment of maximal abdominal aortic diameter.

Materials and Methods

This retrospective study included 50 patients who underwent CTA and a normal-dose non–contrast CT for suspected renal artery stenosis. ULDNC-CT datasets were generated from the normal-dose non–contrast CT datasets using a simulation technique. Using the centerline technique, radiology consultants (n = 4) and residents (n = 3) determined maximal abdominal aortic diameter. The limits of agreement with the mean (LOAM) was used to access observer agreement. LOAM represents how much a measurement by a single observer may plausibly deviate from the mean of all observers on the specific subject.


Observers completed 1400 measurements encompassing repeated CTA and ULDNC-CT measurements. The mean diameter was 24.0 and 25.0 mm for CTA and ULDNC-CT, respectively, yielding a significant but minor mean difference of 1.0 mm. The 95% LOAM reproducibility was similar for CTA and ULDNC-CT (2.3 vs 2.3 mm). In addition, the 95% LOAM and mean diameters were similar for CTA and ULDNC-CT when observers were grouped as consultants and residents.


Ultra-low-dose non–contrast CT exhibited similar accuracy and reproducibility of measurements compared with CTA for assessing maximal abdominal aortic diameter supporting that ULDNC-CT can be used interchangeably with CTA in the lower range of aortic sizes.


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Acta Radiologica Open


Jens Borgbjerg
Heidi S Christensen
Rozh Al-Mashhadi
Martin Bøgsted
Jens B Frøkjær
Lise Medrud
Nis Elbrønd Larsen
Jes S Lindholt
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