European Radiology

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 1979–1991 | Cite as

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

  • G. BrixEmail author
  • H. D. Nagel
  • G. Stamm
  • R. Veit
  • U. Lechel
  • J. Griebel
  • M. Galanski


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.


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



The authors thank all respondents to our survey for their support and the staff of the eight CT facilities where phantom measurements were performed for their excellent collaboration. Furthermore, the technical support of R. Truckenbrodt (BfS, Munich, Germany) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Brix
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • H. D. Nagel
    • 2
    • 3
  • G. Stamm
    • 4
  • R. Veit
    • 1
  • U. Lechel
    • 1
  • J. Griebel
    • 1
  • M. Galanski
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Medical Radiation Hygiene and Dosimetry, Institute of Radiation HygieneFederal Office for Radiation ProtectionNeuherbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Science and TechnologyPhilips Medical SystemsHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Manufacturers' Association of Electromedical Equipment (ZVEI)FrankfurtGermany
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  5. 5.Quality Assurance CommitteeGerman Roentgen SocietyGermany
  6. 6.Institut für StrahlenhygieneBundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS)OberschleissheimGermany

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