Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 415–423 | Cite as

Computing effective doses to pediatric patients undergoing body CT examinations

Original Article



The computation of patient effective doses to children is of particular interest given the relatively high doses received from this imaging modality, as well as the increased utilization of CT in all areas of medicine. Current methods for computing effective doses to children are relatively complex, and it would be useful to develop a simple method of computing pediatric effective doses for clinical purposes that could be used by radiologists and technologists.


To obtain pediatric effective doses for body CT examinations by the use of adult effective doses obtained from effective dose (E) per unit dose length product (DLP) coefficients, and energy imparted to a child relative to an adult.

Materials and methods

Adult E/DLP coefficients were obtained at 120 kV using the ImPACT CT dosimetry spreadsheet. Patients were modeled as cylinders of water, and values of energy imparted to cylinders of varying radii were generated using Monte Carlo modeling. The amounts of energy imparted to the chest and abdomen of children relative to adults (Ren) were obtained. Pediatric effective doses were obtained using scaling factors that accounted for scan length, mAs, patient weight, and relative energy imparted (Ren).


E/DLP values were about 16 μSv/mGy cm for males and about 19 μSv/mGy cm for females. Ren at 120 kV for newborns was 0.35 for the chest and 0.49 for the abdomen. At constant mAs, the effective dose to 6-month-old patients undergoing chest CT examinations was found to be about 50% higher than that to adults, and for abdominal examinations about 100% higher.


Adult effective doses can be obtained using DLP data and can be scaled to provide corresponding pediatric effective doses from body examinations on the same CT scanner.


Effective dose CT Pediatric dose 



The research was supported, in part, by the NIH (R01 EB000460). The authors acknowledge permission to use Fig. 3 by Dr. P.C. Shrimpton and Ms. S. Edyvean.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologySUNY Upstate Medical UniversitySyracuseUSA

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