Radiation dose is reduced with a single-pass whole-body multi-detector row CT trauma protocol compared with a conventional segmented method: initial experience

Radiology. 2003 Dec;229(3):902-5. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2293021651.


Radiation dose data were collected from a calibrated multi-detector row computed tomographic (CT) scanner during trauma CT. One protocol (used with 10 case subjects) involved a single-pass continuous whole-body acquisition from cranial vertex to symphysis pubis, while the other, conventional protocol (used with 10 control subjects) involved scouting and scanning body segments (head, cervical spine, chest, abdomen, and pelvis) individually. Technical factors were kept constant within each body segment for the single-pass and the segmented protocols. Statistics included univariate analysis, two-tailed t testing to evaluate statistical significance of the summary statistic, and power and subject population contingency tables. The mean dose length product (DLP) with the single-pass protocol was 17% lower than the sum of the DLPs of each of the individual body segment scans (P <.001). Analysis of power and subject population by using a difference in mean of 500 mGy. cm and an alpha of.05 revealed a (1-beta) of higher than 0.90 for a sample of 10 patients. Thus, a whole-body single-pass trauma protocol, compared with a typical segmented acquisition protocol matched for imaging technique, resulted in reduced total radiation dose. The reduction in radiation dose is thought to represent a reduction in redundant imaging at overlap zones between body segments scanned in the segmental protocol but not in the continuous acquisition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Multiple Trauma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Whole-Body Counting*