, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 2866-2874
Date: 29 Aug 2006

Impact of the introduction of 16-row MDCT on image quality and patient dose: phantom study and multi-centre survey

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The purpose was to compare the image quality and patient dose between 4- and 16-row MDCT units and to evaluate the dispersion of the dose delivered for common clinical examinations. Four 4- and 16-row MDCT units were used in the study. Image noise levels from images of a CatPhan phantom were compared for all units using a given CTDIvol of 15.0±1.0 mGy. Standard acquisition protocols from ten centres, shifted from 4- to 16-row MDCT (plus one additional centre for 16-row MDCT), were compared for cerebral angiography and standard chest and abdomen examinations. In addition, the protocols used with 16-row MDCT units for diagnosis of the unstable shoulder and for cardiac examinations were also compared. The introduction of 16-MSCT units did not reduce the performance of the detectors. Concerning the acquisition protocols, a wide range in practice was observed for standard examinations; DLP varied from 800 to 5,120 mGy.cm, 130 to 860 mGy.cm, 410 to 1,790 mGy.cm and 850 to 2,500 mGy.cm for cerebral angiography, standard chest, standard abdomen and heart examinations, respectively.The introduction of 16-row MDCT did not, on average, increase the patient dose for standard chest and abdominal examinations. However, a significant dose increase has been observed for cerebral angiography. There is a wide dispersion in the doses delivered, especially for cardiac imaging.