To evaluate the effect of kernel and window settings on the assessment of small and complicated vasculature in CT angiographic (CTA) images of kidneys, jejunum with mesentery, and tumors in dogs.
20 healthy dogs and 20 dogs with tumors.
Images from CTA performed previously in dogs were reconstructed with 3 different combinations of kernel and window settings (soft kernel with soft tissue window, soft kernel with bone window, and sharp kernel with bone window), and reconstructed images of the left kidney and the jejunum with the mesentery in healthy dogs and tumors in affected dogs were evaluated by reviewers blinded to the settings.
For images of kidney and jejunum with mesentery, reviewers’ scores for the conspicuity of vascularity in the arterial phase and the differentiation of the organs from the adjacent structures were significantly higher when viewed in bone window (vs soft tissue window) regardless of kernel setting. For images of head and gastrointestinal tumors, reviewers’ scores for differentiation of intratumoral vasculature were higher when viewed in sharp kernel with bone window versus other setting combinations. However, the conspicuity of gastrointestinal, hepatic, or splenic tumoral vessels from the adjacent structures had higher reviewer scores for images in soft kernel with soft tissue window, compared with other setting combinations.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated that reconstruction of CTA images with sharp kernel combined with bone window settings might have clinical utility in evaluating and planning treatments for dogs with various tumors; however, additional research is warranted to further identify effects of various kernel and window setting combinations on assessments of small and complicated vasculature in larger and more diverse populations of dogs with and without tumors.