Radiation dose in CT colonography--trends in time and differences between daily practice and screening protocols

Eur Radiol. 2008 Oct;18(10):2222-30. doi: 10.1007/s00330-008-0994-x. Epub 2008 May 20.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the currently used effective doses in CT colonography (CTC) and to search for trends in time. A Pubmed search for articles and a search for congress abstracts concerning CTC was performed. Research institutions were sent a CTC dose questionnaire concerning the type of CT system employed and the CT parameters used. With the ImPACT CT Dosimetry Spreadsheet effective doses were calculated. Of 83 institutions, 34 returned a complete questionnaire; 21 (62%) used 64-detector row CT and 17 (50%) used dose modulation. The median effective dose per institution was 5.7 mSv (2.8 mSv supine; 2.5 mSv prone) for screening protocols and 9.1 mSv (5.2 and 3.0 mSv, respectively) for daily practice protocols (p<0.05). Doses did not differ significantly between CT machines with different numbers of detector rows. In 17 institutions incorporated in a study in 2004 as well, the median dose for daily practice protocols changed from 11 mSv in 2004 to 9.7 mSv now (n.s.). Median effective dose for CTC is significantly lower for screening than for daily practice protocols. Although the number of CTC protocols with dose modulation increased substantially since 2004, no significant decrease in effective dose was found.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Body Burden*
  • Colonography, Computed Tomographic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Colonography, Computed Tomographic / trends*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mass Screening / trends*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends*
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness