A PC program for estimating organ dose and effective dose values in computed tomography

Eur Radiol. 1999;9(3):555-62. doi: 10.1007/s003300050709.


Dose values in CT are specified by the manufacturers for all CT systems and operating conditions in phantoms. It is not trivial, however, to derive dose values in patients from this information. Therefore, we have developed a PC-based program which calculates organ dose and effective dose values for arbitrary scan parameters and anatomical ranges. Values for primary radiation are derived from measurements or manufacturer specifications; values for scattered radiation are derived from Monte Carlo calculations tabulated for standard anthropomorphic phantoms. Based on these values, organ doses can be computed by the program for arbitrary scan protocols in conventional and in spiral CT. Effective dose values are also provided, both with ICRP 26 and ICRP 60 tissue-weighting coefficients. Results for several standard CT protocols are presented in tabular form in this paper. In addition, potential for dose reduction is demonstrated, for example, in spiral CT and in quantitative CT. Providing realistic patient dose estimates for arbitrary CT protocols is relevant both for the physician and the patient, and it is particularly useful for educational and training purposes. The program, called WinDose, is now in use at the Erlangen University hospitals (Germany) as an information tool for radiologists and patients. Further extensions are planned.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microcomputers
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Risk Factors
  • Software*
  • Stomach / diagnostic imaging
  • Stomach / radiation effects
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / standards*