Radiation dose evaluation in tomosynthesis and C-arm cone-beam CT examinations with an anthropomorphic phantom

Med Phys. 2010 Aug;37(8):4298-306. doi: 10.1118/1.3465045.


Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate organ dose and the effective dose to patients undergoing tomosynthesis (TS) and C-arm cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) examinations and to compare the doses to those in multidetector CT (MDCT) scans.

Methods: Patient doses were measured with small sized silicon-photodiode dosimeters, 48 in number, which were implanted at various tissue and organ positions within an anthropomorphic phantom. Output signals from photodiode dosimeters were read out on a personal computer, from which organ and effective doses were computed. The doses in head, chest, abdomen, and hip-joint TS, and in head and abdomen C-arm CBCT were evaluated for routine protocols on Shimadzu TS and C-arm CBCT systems, and the doses in MDCT with the same scan regions as in TS and CBCT were on Toshiba 64-detector-row CT scanners.

Results: In TS examination of the head, chest, abdomen, and hip-joint, organ doses for organs within scan ranges were 1-4 mGy, and effective doses were 0.07 mSv for the head scan and around 1 mSv for other scans. In C-arm CBCT examinations of the head and abdomen, organ doses within scan range were 2-37 mGy, and effective doses were 1.2 mSv for the head scan and 4-5 mSv for abdominal scans. Effective doses in TS examinations were approximately a factor of 10 lower, while the doses in CBCT examinations were nearly the same level, compared to the doses in the corresponding MDCT examinations.

Conclusions: TS examinations with low doses and excellent resolutions in coronal images compared to recent MDCT would widely be used in tomographic examinations of the chest, abdomen, pelvis, skeletal-joints, and knee instead of MDCT examinations with significantly high doses. Since patient dose in C-arm CBCT was nearly the same level as that in recent MDCT, the same consideration for high radiation dose would be required for the use of CBCT.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry / instrumentation
  • Body Burden
  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Radiometry / instrumentation*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity