Venous air embolism (VAE) can be observed in the right heart system on contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT), following injection of contrast media with a power injector system. Although most VAEs are mostly asymptomatic, they may result in paradoxical air embolism (PAE).To evaluate whether the incidence of VAE on coronary CT angiography is associated with the process of preparation of the intravenous access route.We retrospectively evaluated 692 coronary CT examinations at 3 institutions. Trained CT nurses placed an intravenous cannula in the forearm. Tubes connected to the cannula were prepared in the following ways: A, using an interposed three-way cock and a 20-mL syringe filled with normal saline to collect air contamination in the tube; B, through direct connection to the power injector system without the interposed 3-way cock; and C, using an interposed three-way cock and a 100-mL normal saline drip infusion bottle system to keep the tube patent. The incidence and location of VAE and preparation of intravenous injection were assessed.The overall incidence of VAE was 55.3% (383/692), most frequently observed in the right atrium (81.5%, 312/383). Its incidence varied significantly across the 3 techniques (A: 21.6% (35/162), B: 63.2% (237/375) and C: 71.6% (111/155); P < .001). No patient demonstrated any symptom associated with VAE.Using a 3-way cock with syringe demonstrated the lowest incidence of VAE on coronary CT angiography. It is thus recommended to reduce potential complication risks related to intravenous contrast media injection.
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