Application of rational practice and technical advances for optimizing radiation dose for chest CT

J Thorac Imaging. 2004 Jan;19(1):16-23. doi: 10.1097/00005382-200401000-00003.


Though clinical benefits of CT exceed the adverse effects of radiation, the increasing use of CT has raised a compelling case for reducing radiation exposure. This controversy has been compounded by the sheer magnitude of CT examinations being performed annually, alleged overuse, and inappropriate selection of optimum scanning parameters, all of which expose the patient population to increased radiation exposure. Recommended clinical strategies for radiation dose optimization include optimization of scanning parameters and creating awareness and adopting guidelines for legitimate indications for CT scanning to avoid overuse and hence, the associated over-exposure. Whereas technological advances have increased the applications of the modality, it is also assisting in development of promising techniques to reduce associated radiation exposure, while maintaining "optimum image quality" needed to make a confident diagnosis. The present pictorial essay describes the fundamentals of CT radiation exposure and need for CT radiation dose reduction on the basis of documented scanning practices and technological advances.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Protection / methods
  • Radiography, Thoracic / adverse effects
  • Radiography, Thoracic / standards*
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / adverse effects
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / standards*