Public Release: 

MDCT angiography can replace angiography in diagnosing suspected arterial injuries

American College of Radiology

Multidetector CT (MDCT) angiography can replace angiography in the initial evaluation of suspected arterial injury in patients with blunt and penetrating neck injuries, a new study shows.

"We studied 58 patients who underwent MDCT angiography and/or traditional angiography," said Josh Stuhlfaut, MD, lead author of the study. MDCT angiography is less expensive, less invasive and much faster than traditional angiography, and there is no risk of stroke during an MDCT angiography procedure. During an MDCT angiography examination, contrast media is injected into the patient; while the contrast media runs through the blood vessels, the CT scanner takes multiple images then a computer software program immediately reconstructs those images to show the vessels in multiple planes, said Dr. Stuhlfaut. A catheter isn't required like it is for traditional angiography. "MDCT angiography also gives us a broader picture; traditional angiography only demonstrates vascular anatomy and injuries to the arterial system. MDCT angiography allows the radiologist to view the area where the injury occurred from a variety of angles, potentially showing injuries other than to the blood vessels," said Dr. Stuhlfaut.

"MDCT angiography was adequate as the initial study in 48 of 49 patients; a follow-up angiogram was requested in one patient because the MDCT angiography examination was nondiagnostic. In addition, four patients required conventional angiograms for confirmation of findings on MDCT angiography, and four patients needed a conventional angiogram to help guide repair of injuries diagnosed by MDCT angiography," Dr. Stuhlfaut said.

Dr. Stuhlfaut, a resident in diagnostic radiology at Boston University Medical Center, will present the study on May 4 during the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, FL.


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