Reduction of radiation exposure by lead curtain shielding in dedicated extremity cone beam CT.

Research paper by C-H CH Lee, J H JH Ryu, Y-H YH Lee, K-H KH Yoon

Indexed on: 27 Mar '15Published on: 27 Mar '15Published in: The British journal of radiology


A dedicated extremity cone beam CT (CBCT) was introduced recently, and is rapidly becoming an attractive modality for extremity imaging. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a curtain-shaped lead shielding in reducing the exposure of patients to scattered radiation in dedicated extremity CBCT.A dedicated extremity CBCT scanner was used. The lead shielding curtain was 42 × 60 cm with 0.5-mm lead equivalent. Scattered radiation dose from CBCT was measured using thermoluminescence dosimetry chips at 20 points, at different distances and directions from the CT gantry. Two sets of scattered radiation dose measurements were performed before and after installation of curtain-shaped lead shield, and the percentage reduction in dose in air was calculated.Mean radiation exposure dose at measured points was 34.46 ± 48.40 μGy without curtains and 9.67 ± 4.53 μGy with curtains, exhibiting 71.94% reduction (p = 0.000). The use of lead shielding curtains significantly reduced scattered radiation at 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 m from the CT gantry, with percent reductions of 84.8%, 58.0% and 35.5%, respectively (p = 0.000, 0.000 and 0.002). The percent reduction in the diagonal (+45°, -45°) and vertical forward (0°) directions were 86.3%, 83.1% and 77.7%, respectively, and were statistically significant (p = 0.029, 0.020 and 0.041).Shielding with lead curtains suggests an easy and effective method for reducing patient exposure to radiation in extremity CBCT imaging.Lead shielding curtains are an effective technique to reduce scattered radiation dose in dedicated extremity CBCT, with higher dose reduction closer to the gantry opening.