Purpose: To evaluate organ doses in routine and low-dose chest computed tomography (CT) protocols using an experimental methodology. To compare experimental results with results obtained by the National Cancer Institute dosimetry system for CT (NCICT) organ dose calculator. To address the differences on organ dose measurements using tube current modulation (TCM) and fixed tube current protocols. Methods: An experimental approach to evaluate organ doses in pediatric and adult anthropomorphic phantoms using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) was employed in this study. Several analyses were performed in order to establish the best way to achieve the main results in this investigation. The protocols used in this study were selected after an analysis of patient data collected from the Institute of Radiology of the School of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (InRad). The image quality was evaluated by a radiologist from this institution. Six chest adult protocols and four chest pediatric protocols were evaluated. Lung doses were evaluated for the adult phantom and lung and thyroid doses were evaluated for the pediatric phantom. The irradiations were performed using both a GE and a Philips CT scanner. Finally, organ doses measured with dosimeters were compared with Monte Carlo simulations performed with NCICT. Results: After analyzing the data collected from all CT examinations performed during a period of 3 yr, the authors identified that adult and pediatric chest CT are among the most applied protocol in patients in that clinical institution, demonstrating the relevance on evaluating organ doses due to these examinations. With regards to the scan parameters adopted, the authors identified that using 80 kV instead of 120 kV for a pediatric chest routine CT, with TCM in both situations, can lead up to a 28.7% decrease on the absorbed dose. Moreover, in comparison to the standard adult protocol, which is performed with fixed mAs, TCM, and ultra low-dose protocols resulted in dose reductions of up to 35.0% and 90.0%, respectively. Finally, the percent differences found between experimental and Monte Carlo simulated organ doses were within a 20% interval. Conclusions: The results obtained in this study measured the impact on the absorbed dose in routine chest CT by changing several scan parameters while the image quality could be potentially preserved.
- computed tomography
- dosimetry/exposure assessment
- image quality
- Monte Carlo simulations
- organ dose
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging