Computed Tomography

The in vivo relationship between cross-sectional area and CT dose index in abdominal multidetector CT with automatic exposure control

 S Meeson, CM Alvey and SJ Golding

Radiology Group, Nuffield Department of Surgery, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.

The relationship between patient cross-sectional area and both volume CT dose index (CTDI) and dose length product was explored for abdominal CT in vivo, using a 16 multidetector row CT (MDCT) scanner with automatic exposure control. During a year-long retrospective survey of patients with MDCT for symptoms of abdominal sepsis, cross-sectional areas were estimated using customised ellipses at the level of the middle of vertebra L3. The relationship between cross-sectional area and the exposure parameters was explored. Scans were performed using a LightSpeed 16 (GE Healthcare Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI) operated with tube current modulation. From a survey of 94 patients it was found that the CTDI increased with the increase in patient cross-sectional area. The relationship was logarithmic rather than linear, with a least-squares fit to the data (Rē = 0.80). For abdominal CT cross-sectional area gave a measure of patient size based on the region of the body to be exposed. Exposure parameters increased with increasing crosssectional area and the greater radiation exposure of larger patients was partly a consequence of their size. Given increasing obesity levels we believe that cross-sectional area and scan length should be added to future dose surveys, allowing patient size to be considered as a factor of relevance when examining population doses.

Summaries of articles in this issue of JRP (pending)
Online journal listing Animation: measure patient x-sec A at the level of the middle of L3
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