CT dose reduction in children

Eur Radiol. 2005 Nov;15(11):2330-40. doi: 10.1007/s00330-005-2856-0. Epub 2005 Aug 10.


World wide, the number of CT studies in children and the radiation exposure by CT increases. The same energy dose has a greater biological impact in children than in adults, and scan parameters have to be adapted to the smaller diameter of the juvenile body. Based on seven rules, a practical approach to paediatric CT is shown: Justification and patient preparation are important steps before scanning, and they differ from the preparation of adult patients. The subsequent choice of scan parameters aims at obtaining the minimal signal-to-noise ratio and volume coverage needed in a specific medical situation; exposure can be divided in two aspects: the CT dose index determining energy deposition per rotation and the dose-length product (DLP) determining the volume dose. DLP closely parallels the effective dose, the best parameter of the biological impact. Modern scanners offer dose modulation to locally minimise exposure while maintaining image quality. Beyond the selection of the physical parameters, the dose can be kept low by scanning the minimal length of the body and by avoiding any non-qualified repeated scanning of parts of the body. Following these rules, paediatric CT examinations of good quality can be obtained at a reasonable cost of radiation exposure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / standards*