Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine a standard deviation (SD) that most reduces the radiation dose without sacrificing the diagnostic accuracy of thin-section computed tomography (CT) for clinical use.
Materials and methods: A total of 120 patients were examined by multidetector CT. They were assigned to one of four SD groups: 8, 9, 11, and 12. Each SD group consisted of 30 patients. The CT images of the same patients with SD10 that had formerly been examined were used for comparison. Two radiologists independently evaluated the degrees of image noise and diagnostic acceptability of the pulmonary diseases using a point score grading system. We compared the scores between each SD and the SD10 group.
Results: Generally, image noise was significantly more prominent in the higher-SD groups. The mean score of diagnostic acceptability was significantly lower in the SD12 group (4.2 ± 1.6) than in the SD10 group (4.6 ± 1.1) group (P < 0.001), whereas no difference was present between the SD8 (4.9 ± 0.7), SD9 (4.8 ± 1.0), and SD11 (4.4 ± 1.5) groups and the SD10 group (4.7 ± 1.1, 4.6 ± 1.4, 4.6 ± 1.1, respectively).
Conclusion: Thin-section CT with SD12 is not acceptable. SD11 seems to be the setting with the lowest radiation dose while providing acceptable imaging quality for pulmonary thin-section CT.