Early arterial phase

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 23 Mar 2023

The early arterial phase, also known as the early systemic arterial phase, is a contrast-enhanced CT or MRI series, in which the contrast (e.g. iodinated or gadolinium) is still in the arteries and has not reached the organs and other soft tissues.

The acquisition time depends on the intravenous device (central or peripheral), the concentration of the contrast medium, and the injection rate.

  • time from injection through an upper extremity vein: 15-25 seconds 1 

  • time from bolus tracking: immediately

The early arterial phase offers optimal vessel demarcation and allows the detection of vascular pathology:

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