European Radiology

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 5044–5050 | Cite as

National survey on dose data analysis in computed tomography

  • Christina HeilmaierEmail author
  • Reto Treier
  • Elmar Max Merkle
  • Hatem Alkadhi
  • Dominik Weishaupt
  • Sebastian Schindera
Computed Tomography



A nationwide survey was performed assessing current practice of dose data analysis in computed tomography (CT).

Material and Methods

All radiological departments in Switzerland were asked to participate in the on-line survey composed of 19 questions (16 multiple choice, 3 free text). It consisted of four sections: (1) general information on the department, (2) dose data analysis, (3) use of a dose management software (DMS) and (4) radiation protection activities.


In total, 152 out of 241 Swiss radiological departments filled in the whole questionnaire (return rate, 63%). Seventy-nine per cent of the departments (n = 120/152) analyse dose data on a regular basis with considerable heterogeneity in the frequency (1-2 times per year, 45%, n = 54/120; every month, 35%, n = 42/120) and method of analysis. Manual analysis is carried out by 58% (n = 70/120) compared with 42% (n = 50/120) of departments using a DMS. Purchase of a DMS is planned by 43% (n = 30/70) of the departments with manual analysis. Real-time analysis of dose data is performed by 42% (n = 21/50) of the departments with a DMS; however, residents can access the DMS in clinical routine only in 20% (n = 10/50) of the departments. An interdisciplinary dose team, which among other things communicates dose data internally (63%, n = 76/120) and externally, is already implemented in 57% (n = 68/120) departments.


Swiss radiological departments are committed to radiation safety. However, there is high heterogeneity among them regarding the frequency and method of dose data analysis as well as the use of DMS and radiation protection activities.

Key Points

Swiss radiological departments are committed to and interest in radiation safety as proven by a 63% return rate of the survey.

Seventy-nine per cent of departments analyse dose data on a regular basis with differences in the frequency and method of analysis: 42% use a dose management software, while 58% currently perform manual dose data analysis. Of the latter, 43% plan to buy a dose management software.

Currently, only 25% of the departments add radiation exposure data to the final CT report.


Surveys and questionnaires Patient safety Radiation protection Quality improvement Computed tomography 



Actien-Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrication


As low as reasonably achievable


Computed tomography


Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine-Structured Report


Dose-length product


Dose management software


Diagnostic reference levels


Federal Office of Health


General Electric


Information technology


Picture-archiving and communication system


Position emission tomography


Single-photon emission computed tomography



The authors would like to thank the executive board of the Swiss Society of Radiology for their commitment and support to perform a nationwide dose survey.


The authors state that this work has not received any funding.

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Sebastian Schindera.

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.

Statistics and biometry

No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was not required because no patient data were analysed.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was not required for this study because no patient data were analysed.


• retrospective

• cross-sectional study

• multicentre study

Supplementary material

330_2018_5408_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1073 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2018
corrected publication July 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina Heilmaier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Reto Treier
    • 2
  • Elmar Max Merkle
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hatem Alkadhi
    • 1
    • 4
  • Dominik Weishaupt
    • 1
    • 5
  • Sebastian Schindera
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Swiss Society of Radiology; c/o: ecos Office CenterZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Federal Office of HealthBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity Hospital ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  5. 5.Institute of Radiology and Nuclear MedicineStadtspital Triemli ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  6. 6.Department of RadiologyKantonsspital AarauAarauSwitzerland

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