Radiation dose estimations to the thorax using organ-based dose modulation

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2012 Jul;199(1):W65-73. doi: 10.2214/AJR.11.7798.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the radiation dose distribution and image quality for organ-based dose modulation during adult thoracic MDCT.

Materials and methods: Organ doses were measured using an anthropomorphic adult female phantom containing 30 metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor detectors on a dual-source MDCT scanner with two protocols: standard tube current modulation thoracic CT and organ-based dose modulation using a 120° radial arc. Radiochromic film measured the relative axial dose. Noise was measured to evaluate image quality. Breast tissue location across the anterior aspect of the thorax was retrospectively assessed in 100 consecutive thoracic MDCT examinations.

Results: There was a 17-47% decrease (p = < 0.05) in anterior thoracic organ dose and a maximum 52% increase (p = < 0.05) in posterior thoracic organ dose using organ-based dose modulation compared with tube current modulation. Effective dose (SD) for tube current modulation and organ-based dose modulation were 5.25 ± 0.36 mSv and 4.42 ± 0.30 mSv, respectively. Radiochromic film analysis showed a 30% relative midline anterior-posterior gradient. There was no statistically significant difference in image noise. Adult female breast tissue was located within an average anterior angle of 155° (123-187°).

Conclusion: Organ-based dose modulation CT using an anterior 120° arc can reduce the organ dose in the anterior aspect of the thorax with a compensatory organ dose increase posteriorly without impairment of image quality. Laterally located breast tissue will have higher organ doses than medially located breast tissue when using organ-based dose modulation. The benefit of this dose reduction must be clinically determined on the basis of the relationship of the irradiated organs to the location of the prescribed radial arc used in organ-based dose modulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Protection / methods
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thorax
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Young Adult