The purpose of this study was to quantify radiation dose parameters of dual-source CT coronary angiography. Eighty patients underwent contrast-enhanced, retrospectively ECG-gated dual-source CT coronary angiography with heart rate-adapted ECG pulsing using two algorithms: In 40 patients, the tube current was reduced to 20% (A(min1)) of the normal tube current (A(max)) outside the pulsing window; in 40 patients tube current was reduced to 4% (A(min2)) of A(max). Mean CTDI(vol) in the A(min1) group was 45.1 +/- 3.6 mGy; the mean CTDI(vol) in the A(min2) group was 39.1 +/- 3.2 mGy, with CTDI(vol) in the A(min2) group being significantly reduced when compared to the A(min1) group (P < 0.001). A significant negative correlation was found between CTDI(vol) and heart rate in group A(min1) (r = -0.82, P < 0.001), whereas no correlation was found between CTDI(vol) and heart rate in group A(min2) (r = -0.066). Using the conversion coefficient for the chest, dual-source CT coronary angiography resulted in an estimated mean effective dose of 8.8 mSv in the A(min1) group and 7.8 mSv in the A(min2). Radiation exposure of dual-source CT coronary angiography using an ECG-pulsing protocol reducing the tube current to 20% significantly decreases with increasing heart rates, despite using wider pulsing windows at higher heart rates. When using a protocol with reduced tube current of 4%, the radiation dose is significantly lower, irrespective of the heart rate.