Radiation exposure in multi-slice versus single-slice spiral CT: results of a nationwide survey

Eur Radiol. 2003 Aug;13(8):1979-91. doi: 10.1007/s00330-003-1883-y. Epub 2003 Apr 10.


Multi-slice (MS) technology increases the efficacy of CT procedures and offers new promising applications. The expanding use of MSCT, however, may result in an increase in both frequency of procedures and levels of patient exposure. It was, therefore, the aim of this study to gain an overview of MSCT examinations conducted in Germany in 2001. All MSCT facilities were requested to provide information about 14 standard examinations with respect to scan parameters and frequency. Based on this data, dosimetric quantities were estimated using an experimentally validated formalism. Results are compared with those of a previous survey for single-slice (SS) spiral CT scanners. According to the data provided for 39 dual- and 73 quad-slice systems, the average annual number of patients examined at MSCT is markedly higher than that examined at SSCT scanners (5500 vs 3500). The average effective dose to patients was changed from 7.4 mSv at single-slice to 5.5 mSv and 8.1 mSv at dual- and quad-slice scanners, respectively. There is a considerable potential for dose reduction at quad-slice systems by an optimisation of scan protocols and better education of the personnel. To avoid an increase in the collective effective dose from CT procedures, a clear medical justification is required in each case.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Equipment Design
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Protection
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed* / methods