A comparison between low-dose and standard-dose non-contrasted multidetector CT scanning of the paranasal sinuses

Biomed Imaging Interv J. 2009 Jul;5(3):e13. doi: 10.2349/biij.5.3.e13. Epub 2009 Jul 1.


Purpose: To compare the image quality of the low-dose to the standard-dose protocol of MDCT scanning of the paranasal sinuses, based on subjective assessment and determine the radiation doses to the eyes and thyroid gland and dose reduction between these two protocols.

Materials and methods: 31 adult patients were scanned. Prior to scanning, thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) were placed at 4 sites: outer canthus of right eye, outer canthus of left eye, inner canthus and anterior neck (thyroid gland). Every patient was scanned twice using the standard-dose protocol (100mAs) followed by the low-dose protocol (40mAs). The images were reviewed by 3 radiologists. Wilcoxon test was used as the test of significance for the image quality assessments. The paired sample t-test was used as the test of significance for the analysis of the radiation doses measured by the TLDs.

Results: Of the 30 patients selected for analysis, this study showed no significant difference in the scores for the diagnostic image quality and the anatomical structures assessments between the two protocols. The average calculated mean entrance surface doses and standard deviation for the standard-dose and low-dose protocols were 12.40±1.39 mGy and 5.53±0.82 mGy respectively to the lens and 1.03±0.55 mGy and 0.63±0.53 mGy respectively to the thyroid gland.

Conclusion: The reduction of mAs from 100 to 40 resulted in a significant reduction of the radiation doses to the lens and thyroid gland by 55.4% and 38.8% respectively without causing any significant effect to the diagnostic image quality and assessment of the anatomical structures.

Keywords: CT Paranasal sinuses; Chronic sinusitis; Low-dose Protocol.