Efficacy of 'breath holding at ease' during CT pulmonary angiography in the improvement of contrast enhancement in pulmonary arteries

YeYuan Jourena Li, Kenneth Kwok-Pan Lau, Nicholas Ardley, Theadore Lau

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to assess whether breath-hold at ease by patients during the CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) will improve contrast enhancement in pulmonary arteries. METHODS: Retrospective review was conducted on 51 consecutive CTPA studies undertaken in the traditional method of patients taking deep inspiration and breath-hold immediately prior to scanning, and subsequently 75 consecutive CTPA studies with patients breathing-holding at ease immediately prior to and during the scanning. Attenuation values in pulmonary arteries of different anatomical levels in both groups were measured in Hounsfield unit (HU). Results were compared between the two groups. RESULTS: The mean attenuation value in pulmonary arteries including pulmonary trunk, main and proximal pulmonary arteries calculated in HU in the deep inspiration and breath-hold group was 327 HU (95 confidence interval: 315 to 339 HU). The mean attenuation value in pulmonary arteries in the breath hold at ease group was calculated to be 390 HU (95 confidence interval: 381 to 399 HU); that is, an overall 17.95 increase (P-value <0.0001) in attenuation value in this group. CONCLUSIONS: By asking patients to breath-hold at ease instead of taking deep inspiration and breath hold prior to CTPA scan can effectively improve contrast enhancement in pulmonary arteries, therefore producing a higher-quality CT pulmonary angiography scan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415 - 422
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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