Age-specific effective doses for pediatric MSCT examinations at a large children's hospital using DLP conversion coefficients: a simple estimation method

Pediatr Radiol. 2008 Jun;38(6):645-56. doi: 10.1007/s00247-008-0794-0. Epub 2008 Apr 8.


Background: There is a need for an easily accessible method for effective dose estimation in pediatric CT.

Objective: To estimate effective doses for a variety of pediatric neurological and body CT examinations in five age groups using recently published age- and region-specific dose length product (DLP) to effective dose conversion coefficients.

Materials and methods: A retrospective review was performed of 1,431 consecutive CT scans over a 12-week period using age- and weight-adjusted CT protocols. Age- and region-specific DLP to effective dose conversion coefficients were applied to console-displayed DLP data.

Results: Effective dose estimates for single-phase head CT scans in neonatal, and 1-, 5-, 10- and 15-year-old age groups were 4.2, 3.6, 2.4, 2.0 and 1.4 mSv, respectively. For abdomen/pelvis CT scans the corresponding effective doses were 13.1, 11.1, 8.4, 8.9 and 5.9 mSv. The range of pediatric CT effective doses is wide, from ultralow dose protocols (<1 mSv) to extended-coverage body examinations (10-15 mSv).

Conclusion: Age- and region-specific pediatric DLP to effective dose conversion coefficients provide an accessible and user-friendly method for estimating pediatric CT effective doses that is available to radiologists working without medical physics support.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data*