Physics

European Radiology

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 1979-1991

Radiation exposure in multi-slice versus single-slice spiral CT: results of a nationwide survey

  • G. BrixAffiliated withDivision of Medical Radiation Hygiene and Dosimetry, Institute of Radiation Hygiene, Federal Office for Radiation ProtectionInstitut für Strahlenhygiene, Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS) Email author 
  • , H. D. NagelAffiliated withDepartment of Science and Technology, Philips Medical SystemsManufacturers' Association of Electromedical Equipment (ZVEI)
  • , G. StammAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Hannover Medical School
  • , R. VeitAffiliated withDivision of Medical Radiation Hygiene and Dosimetry, Institute of Radiation Hygiene, Federal Office for Radiation Protection
  • , U. LechelAffiliated withDivision of Medical Radiation Hygiene and Dosimetry, Institute of Radiation Hygiene, Federal Office for Radiation Protection
  • , J. GriebelAffiliated withDivision of Medical Radiation Hygiene and Dosimetry, Institute of Radiation Hygiene, Federal Office for Radiation Protection
  • , M. GalanskiAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Hannover Medical SchoolQuality Assurance Committee, German Roentgen Society

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Abstract

Multi-slice (MS) technology increases the efficacy of CT procedures and offers new promising applications. The expanding use of MSCT, however, may result in an increase in both frequency of procedures and levels of patient exposure. It was, therefore, the aim of this study to gain an overview of MSCT examinations conducted in Germany in 2001. All MSCT facilities were requested to provide information about 14 standard examinations with respect to scan parameters and frequency. Based on this data, dosimetric quantities were estimated using an experimentally validated formalism. Results are compared with those of a previous survey for single-slice (SS) spiral CT scanners. According to the data provided for 39 dual- and 73 quad-slice systems, the average annual number of patients examined at MSCT is markedly higher than that examined at SSCT scanners (5500 vs 3500). The average effective dose to patients was changed from 7.4 mSv at single-slice to 5.5 mSv and 8.1 mSv at dual- and quad-slice scanners, respectively. There is a considerable potential for dose reduction at quad-slice systems by an optimisation of scan protocols and better education of the personnel. To avoid an increase in the collective effective dose from CT procedures, a clear medical justification is required in each case.

Keywords

Multi-slice spiral CT Frequency of procedures Radiation exposure Nationwide survey Recommendations for dose reduction