Portal venous phase

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 23 Mar 2023

The portal venous phase, also known as the late portal phase or hepatic phase, is a contrast-enhanced CT or MRI series that has the following characteristics:

  • liver parenchyma is at its peak enhancement with a density >110 HU (an increase of at least 50 HU from the unenhanced baseline)1,2
  • portal vein and hepatic veins are completely enhanced 

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: 70-90 seconds 3
    • 70 seconds at an injection rate of 4 ml/s 4
  • time from bolus tracking: 50-70 seconds

The portal venous phase offers the best hepatic enhancement for the detection of:

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