Effects of automatic tube potential selection on radiation dose index, image quality, and lesion detectability in pediatric abdominopelvic CT and CTA: a phantom study.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of automatic tube potential selection (ATPS) on radiation dose, image quality, and lesion detectability in paediatric abdominopelvic CT and CT angiography (CTA). METHODS: A paediatric modular phantom with contrast inserts was examined with routine pitch (1.4) and high pitch (3.0) using a standard abdominopelvic protocol with fixed 120 kVp, and ATPS with variable kVp in non-contrast, contrast-enhanced, and CTA mode. The volume CT dose index (CTDIvol), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and lesion detectability index (d') were compared between the standard protocol and ATPS examinations. RESULTS: CTDIvol was reduced in all routine pitch ATPS examinations, with dose reductions of 27-52 % in CTA mode (P < 0.0001), 15-33 % in contrast-enhanced mode (P = 0.0003) and 8-14 % in non-contrast mode (P = 0.03). Iodine and soft tissue insert CNR and d' were improved or maintained in all ATPS examinations. kVp and dose were reduced in 25 % of high pitch ATPS examinations and in none of the full phantom examinations obtained after a single full phantom localizer. CONCLUSIONS: ATPS reduces radiation dose while maintaining image quality and lesion detectability in routine pitch paediatric abdominopelvic CT and CTA, but technical factors such as pitch and imaging range must be considered to optimize ATPS benefits. KEY POINTS: ATPS automatically individualizes CT scan technique for each patient. ATPS lowers radiation dose in routine pitch pediatric abdominopelvic CT and CTA. There is no loss of image quality or lesion detectability with ATPS. Pitch and scan range impact the effectiveness of ATPS dose reduction.
Brinkley, MF; Ramirez-Giraldo, JC; Samei, E; Frush, DJ; Choudhury, KR; Wilson, JM; Christianson, OI; Frush, DP
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