European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 2279–2287 | Cite as

Optimised low-dose multidetector CT protocol for children with cranial deformity

  • Jose Luis VazquezEmail author
  • Miguel Angel Pombar
  • Jose Manuel Pumar
  • Victor Miguel del Campo



To present an optimised low-dose multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) protocol for the study of children with cranial deformity.


Ninety-one consecutive MDCT studies were performed in 80 children. Studies were performed with either our standard head CT protocol (group 1, n = 20) or a low-dose cranial deformity protocol (groups 2 and 3). Group 2 (n = 38), initial, and group 3 (n = 33), final and more optimised. All studies were performed in the same 64-MDCT equipment. Cranial deformity protocol was gradationally optimised decreasing kVp, limiting mA range, using automatic exposure control (AEC) and increasing the noise index (NI). Image quality was assessed. Dose indicators such us CT dose index volume (CTDIvol), dose-length product (DLP) and effective dose (E) were used.


The optimised low-dose protocol reached the following values: 80 kVp, mA range: 50–150 and NI = 23. We achieved a maximum dose reduction of 10-22 times in the 1- to 12-month-old cranium in regard to the 2004 European guidelines for MDCT.


A low-dose MDCT protocol that may be used as the first diagnostic imaging option in clinically selected patients with skull abnormalities.

Key Points

MDCT is a very useful tool in the study of skull lesions

Low-dose MDCT minimises child exposure to ionising radiation while maintaining image quality

Low-dose MDCT should be considered as the first imaging option in selected patients


Multidetector computed tomography Low dose Image quality Cranial deformity Child 



Automatic exposure control


Noise index




Computed tomography dose index volume


Dose-length product


Effective dose


American Academy of Paediatrics



This study was presented as Scientific Exhibit at ECR 2012.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Luis Vazquez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Miguel Angel Pombar
    • 2
  • Jose Manuel Pumar
    • 3
  • Victor Miguel del Campo
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyComplejo Hospitalario Universitario de VigoVigoSpain
  2. 2.Department of RadiophysicsComplejo Hospitalario Universitario de SantiagoSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyComplejo Hospitalario Universitario de SantiagoSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Public HealthComplejo Hospitalario Universitario de VigoVigoSpain

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