Radiation dose levels for interventional CT procedures

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Jul;197(1):W97-103. doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.5057.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine typical radiation dose levels to patients undergoing CT-guided interventional procedures.

Materials and methods: A total of 571 patients undergoing CT interventional procedures were included in this retrospective data analysis study. Enrolled patients underwent one of five procedures: cryoablation, aspiration, biopsy, drain, or injection. With each procedure, two scan modes were used, either intermittent (no table increment) or helical mode. Skin dose was estimated from the volumetric CT dose index (CTDI(vol)) and phantom measurements. Effective dose was calculated by multiplying dose-length product (DLP) and conversion factor (k factor) for helical mode, and using Monte Carlo organ dose coefficients for intermittent mode.

Results: The mean (± SD) skin doses were 728 ± 382, 130 ± 104, 128 ± 81, 152 ± 105, and 195 ± 147 mGy, and the mean effective doses were 119.7 ± 50.3, 20.1 ± 11.0, 13.8 ± 9.2, 25.3 ± 15.4, and 9.1 ± 5.5 mSv for each of the five procedures, respectively. The maximum skin dose was 1.95 Gy. The mean effective dose across all procedure types was 24.1 mSv, with 2.3 mSv from intermittent scans and 21.8 mSv from helical scans.

Conclusion: Substantial dose differences were observed among the five procedures. The risk of deterministic effects appears to be very low, because the maximum observed skin dose did not exceed the threshold for transient skin erythema (2 Gy). The average risk of stochastic effects was comparable to that of 1-10 abdomen and pelvis CT examinations. Although the intermittent mode can contribute substantially to skin dose, it contributes minimally to the effective dose because of the much shorter scan range used.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiography, Interventional / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiometry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult