Radiation dose reduction without degrading image quality during computed tomography examinations: Dosimetry and quality control study

George Felix Acquah, Bernhard Schiestl, Afua Yeboah Cofie, Jeanette Obeng Nkansah, Magnus Gustavsson


Purpose: Computed tomography (CT), is an X-ray procedure that generates high quality cross-sectional images of the body, and by comparison to other radiological diagnosis, is responsible for higher doses to patients. This work studies the doses and image qualities produced from the default primary scanning factors of a Siemens CT machine and afterwards came up with scanning protocols that allow radiologists to obtain the necessary diagnostic information while reducing radiation doses to as low as reasonably achievable.

Methods: Approximately 1000 CT scans from mostly common examinations; head, thorax, abdomen and pelvis routines were selected and analyzed for their image quality and radiation doses over a two year interval. Dose measurements were performed for the same routines using Computed Tomography Dose Index (CTDI) phantoms, RTI barracuda system with electrometer, and CT dose Profiler detector to evaluate the doses delivered during these CT procedures. Subsequently, image quality checks were performed using the CT Catphan 600 and anthropomorphic phantoms. CTDI and Dose Length Product (DLP) values were calculated for each scan. From analyzing these measurements, the appropriate machine scanning parameters were adjusted to reduce radiation does while at the same time providing good image quality.

Results: Doses to patients using the default head sequence protocol had an average CTDIvol value of 65.45 mGy and a range of 7.10-16.80 mGy for thorax, abdomen and pelvis examinations whiles the new protocol had an average CTDIvol of 58.32 mGy for the head and a range of 3.83-15.24 mGy for the truck region. The DLP value for default head scans decreased from an average of 2279.85 mGy.cm to 874.53 mGy.cm with the new protocol. Tube potentials (KV) and tube current-time (mAs) had an effect on spatial resolution and low contrast detectability as well as doses.

Conclusion: From the new protocols, lower values of KV and mAs together with other factors were enough to produce acceptable level of image quality which leads to adequate diagnosis without unnecessary doses to patients.


Cite this article as:
Acquah GF, Schiestl B,Cofie AY, Nkansah JO. Radiation dose reduction without degrading image quality during computed tomography examinations: Dosimetry and quality control study. Int J Cancer Ther Oncol 2014; 2(3):02039.  DOI: 10.14319/ijcto.0203.9


Computerized Tomography; Radiation Dose Reduction; Image Quality; CTDI; DLP

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14319/ijcto.0203.9

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