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Freyhardt, P.; Solowjowa, N.; Boening, G.; Kahn, J.; Aufrnesser, B.; Haage, P. and Streitparth, F. (2018): CT-angiography of the aorta in patients with Marfan disease - High-pitch MDCT at different levels of tube voltage combined with Sinogram Affirmed Iterative Reconstruction. In: Clinical Imaging, Vol. 51: pp. 123-132

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Objectives: Aim of the study was the comparison of high-pitch dual-source CTA of the aorta acquired with different tube currents and methods of image reconstruction in patients with Marfan Disease (MFS). Background: Patients with MFS receive repeatedly CT examinations of the entire aorta what leads to high cumulative lifetime radiation doses. Routine clinical use of low-kV-protocols in combination with iterative reconstruction for imaging of the aorta is still limited although this approach may be of great benefit for patients in need of serial follow-up scans. Methods: 106 patients with MFS received CTA of the entire aorta in a 2nd generation dual-source Flash-CT at 120, 100 or 80 kV. 120 kV images were reconstructed with FBP, low-kV images with an IR algorithm (SAFIRE) at different noise reduction levels. CTDIvol, DLP and effective dose were analyzed. Quantitative image analysis included comparison of SNR, CNR and Noise levels. For qualitative analysis, two blinded readers assessed noise, contour delineation, contrast, overall image quality and diagnostic confidence. Results: Effective dose was 9.4 (1.5) mSv for 120 kV, 4.2 (+/- 1.1) mSv for 100 kV and 1.9 (+/- 0.42) mSv for 80 kV. 100 kV images showed the highest SNR and CNR values, followed by 80 kV and 120 kV. Qualitative image analysis showed the lowest scores for all evaluated aspects at 80 kV. Overall image quality and diagnostic confidence was excellent at all kV strengths. Conclusions: In MFS patients low-kV CT protocols with IR allow for CTA of the entire aorta in excellent image quality and diagnostic confidence with a dose reduction of up to 80% compared to 120 kV. For baseline CT, we recommend 100 kV, for follow-up CT scans 80 kV as tube voltage.

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