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  • Author or Editor: Mariano A. Makara x
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OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of gadoxetic acid (contrast) dose on biliary tract enhancement, determine the optimal time after contrast injection for CT image acquisition, and assess the feasibility of CT cholangiography in sedated dogs.

ANIMALS 8 healthy dogs.

PROCEDURES The study had 2 parts. In part 1, 4 dogs were anesthetized and underwent CT cholangiography twice. Gadoxetic acid was administered IV at a low dose (0.025 mmol/kg) for the first procedure and high dose (0.3 mmol/kg) for the second procedure. Serial CT scans were obtained at predetermined times after contrast injection. In part 2, 4 dogs were sedated and underwent CT angiography 85 minutes after IV administration of the high contrast dose. Contrast enhancement of the biliary tract on all scans was objectively assessed by measurement of CT attenuation and qualitatively assessed by use of a subjective 4-point scoring system by 3 independent reviewers. All measurements were compared over time and between contrast doses for the dogs of part 1. Subjective measurements were compared between the sedated dogs of part 2 and anesthetized dogs of part 1.

RESULTS Enhancement of the biliary tract was positively associated with contrast dose and time after contrast injection. Optimal enhancement was achieved 65 minutes after contrast injection. Subjective visualization of most biliary structures did not differ significantly between sedated and anesthetized dogs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated CT cholangiography with gadoxetic acid was feasible in sedated dogs. The high contrast dose provided better visualization of biliary structures than the low dose; CT scans should be obtained 65 minutes after contrast injection.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To evaluate 3 doses of gadoxetic acid (Gd-EOB-DPTA) for hepatic CT and cholangiography in cats and to determine optimal timing for hepatobiliary image acquisition and evaluation of the contrast-enhanced hepatobiliary anatomy.


6 healthy cats.


Cats were anesthetized; sequential CT scans were performed 0, 5, 25, 45, 65, and 85 minutes after IV administration of Gd-EOB-DTPA at low (0.0125 mmol/kg), medium (0.1 mmol/kg), and high (0.3 mmol/kg) doses. Hepatobiliary enhancement for each dose was objectively assessed over time and by use of a subjective semiquantitative visual assessment score.


No contrast-related adverse effects were detected. Each increase in dose of contrast medium resulted in a significant increase in HU across the hepatobiliary system. The liver had a significantly higher number of HU at 45 minutes, with homogenous enhancement at all doses of contrast medium. Contrast-enhanced cystic and bile duct HU were significantly higher and maximal at 65 minutes. Contrast-enhanced gallbladder HU did not plateau by 85 minutes. At a high dose of contrast medium, 12 of 60 (20%) biliary tract scores indicated no enhancement, 34 (57%) indicated poor enhancement, and 14 (23%) indicated moderate enhancement. No cat had excellent enhancement of the biliary tract at any dose.


Gd-EOB-DTPA–enhanced hepatic CT and cholangiography in cats were safely performed and provided good hepatic enhancement but poor to moderate enhancement of the biliary tract. This technique may be useful for assessing the liver parenchyma in cats, but its value for assessing the biliary tract is questionable.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research