Background: Technical advances to minimize radiation exposure because of imaging are in accord with the "as low as reasonably achievable" principle.
Objective: We aimed to determine whether coronary calcium scoring (CCS) by multidetector CT at a tube voltage of 100 kVp yields comparable results to the standard 120-kVp protocol while reducing radiation dose.
Methods: Sixty consecutive outpatients were scanned with a dual-source CT scanner with both the120- and 100-kVp protocols. The calcium threshold was 130 Hounsfield units (HUs) for 120 kVp and 147 HU for 100 kVp, as determined from phantom data. All 100-kVp scans were scored by an experienced reader blinded to 120-kVp data.
Results: Image quality was comparable for 100- and 120- kVp scans. Mean Agatston scores for 100 and 120 kVp were 189 +/- 484 and 189 +/- 498 (P = 0.92), with perfect correlation (r = 1.0; P < 0.0001; 95% limits of agreement, -36 to 37; bias, 0.6). Mean coronary calcium volume scores for 100 and 120 kVp were 143 +/- 370 mm(3) and 149 +/- 392 mm(3) (P = 0.26), with perfect correlation (r = 1.0; P < 0.0001; 95% limits of agreement, -35 to 32 mm(3); bias, -1.4 mm(3)). The mean absolute difference for Agatston scores between the protocols was 16.9, with excellent agreement (kappa = 0.95; P < 0.0001). Mean effective radiation dose for the 100-kVp protocol was significantly lower (1.17 mSv versus 1.70 mSv; P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: A reduced tube current protocol using 100 kVp gives equivalent CCS results at reduced radiation exposure compared with a standard protocol at 120 kVp.
Copyright (c) 2009. Published by Elsevier Inc.