Correlation of cross-sectional diameter with image quality and radiation exposure in MDCT examinations of the neck.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to identify an optimal cross-sectional neck diameter that correlates with image quality and radiation exposure in MDCT examinations of the neck performed with automatic tube current modulation.
Ninety-six adults underwent 64-MDCT of the neck with automatic tube current modulation at the same noise setting. On frontal and lateral scout images, maximal body diameters were measured in the transverse and anteroposterior planes at two levels: just below the mandible (upper neck) and at the lung apex (lower neck). Neck diameters were correlated with image quality on a subjective 4-point scale and with radiation exposure (volume CT dose index).
As continuous variables, both anteroposterior and transverse diameters in the lower neck were associated with image quality (p ≤ 0.0012). Diameters in the upper neck were not associated with image quality. When diameters in the lower neck were categorized into small, medium, and large, image quality grades were higher for smaller patients (p < 0.001). Images of 81% of small patients (lower neck transverse diameter < 40 cm) had a high image quality grade, compared with images of 7-20% of large patients (diameter > 48 cm). Transverse diameter in the lower neck correlated best with radiation dose measured as volume CT dose index (r = 0.78). When transverse diameter in the lower neck was used to categorize patients' size, the mean volume CT dose index for small patients was 34.1 mSv and that for large patients was 63.5 mSv.
Lower neck transverse diameter on the CT scout image best correlates with image quality and radiation exposure for neck MDCT examinations performed with automatic tube current modulation. Images of patients with a lower neck transverse diameter less than 40 cm are of higher quality than those of larger patients. Individualized dose reduction techniques therefore may be appropriate for smaller patients.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Selecting a lower tube current for CT fluoroscopic spine injections is a method of radiation dose reduction. Ideally tube current should be tailored to the patient's body habitus, but a greater influence on tube current may be the proceduralist's personal preference. The purpose of this study was to compare tube current and fluoroscopy time of different proceduralists for lumbar spine CT-guided selective nerve root blocks, and to correlate image quality to patient diameter and tube current.MATERIALS AND METHODS:Eighty CT-guided SNRBs performed by 4 proceduralists were retrospectively reviewed for tube current and fluoroscopy time. Patient body habitus was evaluated by measuring anteroposterior diameters on scout images. Image quality was evaluated objectively and subjectively: noise was measured in the psoas muscle and images were graded on a 3-point scale.RESULTS:The mean tube current was 59 ± 20 mA and mean fluoroscopy time was 10.4 ± 7.5 seconds. The mean tube current between proceduralists differed by almost 2-fold, and there was greater than 2-fold difference in mean fluoroscopy time (P < .0001 and .01, respectively). Mean AP body size was 27 ± 5 cm. When categoric data of tube current and AP diameter were analyzed, only AP diameter was a statistically significant variable influencing image noise (P = .009). Twenty of 23 patients with AP diameter ≤30 cm had adequate to excellent image quality, even with lower tube current of ≤40 mA.CONCLUSIONS:Wide variability in tube current selection between proceduralists calls for a more objective method of selecting tube current to minimize radiation dose. Body size, measured by AP diameter, had the greatest influence on image quality. This could be used to identify patients for lower tube current selection.American Journal of Neuroradiology 05/2012; · 3.17 Impact Factor