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A multi-phased study of optimisation methodologies and radiation dose savings for head CT examinations.

Research paper by Francis F Zarb, Mark F MF McEntee, Louise L Rainford

Indexed on: 11 Jul '14Published on: 11 Jul '14Published in: Radiation protection dosimetry



Abstract

The impact of optimisation methods on dose reductions for head computerised tomography was undertaken in three phases for two manufacturer models. Phase 1: a Catphan(®)600 was employed to evaluate protocols where the impact of parameter manipulation on dose and image quality was gauged by psychophysical measurements of contrast and spatial resolution in terms of contrast discs and line pairs. mA, kV and pitch were systematically altered until the optimisation threshold was identified. Phantom studies provide dose comparisons during optimisation but lack anatomical detail. Phase 2: optimised protocols were tested on a porcine model permitting further dose reductions over phantom findings providing anatomical structures for image quality evaluation using relative visual grading analysis of anatomical criteria. Phase 3: patient images using pre- and post-optimised protocols were clinically audited using visual grading characteristic analysis and ordinal regression analysis providing a robust analysis of image quality data prior to clinical implementation.