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OBJECTIVE To evaluate the accuracy of estimating time to peak enhancement (TPE) of the aorta and liver parenchyma on the basis of contrast medium arrival time in the aorta, injection duration, and injection technique in dogs.

ANIMALS 18 dogs of specific body weight categories (≥ 2 dogs/category) with no liver abnormalities detected via CT.

PROCEDURES Dogs were randomly assigned within weight categories to receive contrast medium IV at a fixed injection rate (5 mL/s) or fixed injection duration (20 seconds). Time–contrast attenuation curves were generated from dynamic CT scans acquired at the hepatic hilus. Data collected for contrast medium arrival time and injection duration were used to estimate TPEs of the aorta and liver, and results were compared with the observed TPEs for the aorta and liver.

RESULTS Contrast medium arrival time, injection duration, and injection technique were significantly associated with observed values for aortic TPE and explained 96.1% of variation in TPE. For the fixed rate technique, the regression equation for estimating aortic TPE was 0.8 × (injection duration + contrast medium arrival time) + 1.6. For the fixed duration technique, the regression equation changed by only the constant (–2.6). However, the hepatic TPE estimated from the 3 predictor variables was not significantly different from the mean of observed TPEs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Aortic TPE could be accurately estimated from contrast medium arrival time, injection duration, and injection technique in dogs with apparently healthy livers. The regression equations derived from this relationship can be used to improve the efficiency of dual-phase CT of the liver in dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research