BMI-based radiation dose reduction in CT colonography

Acad Radiol. 2013 Apr;20(4):486-92. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2012.12.011.


Rationale and objectives: There is potential for x-ray dose reduction in computed tomography colonography (CTC) relative to body mass index (BMI). We evaluated the association between BMI and three-dimensional (3D) CTC image quality to assess the potential utility of BMI as the basis for radiation dose reduction in CTC.

Materials and methods: Ninety-six consecutive patients underwent CTC and were randomized for scanning at 15 or 30 mAs. Extremely obese patients (BMI > 50) were excluded. Each patient was scanned supine and prone on a multidetector CT scanner. Postprocessing CTC visualization was performed on a dedicated workstation. Three independent observers assessed 3D image quality using a four-point scale. Image noise was measured in both the abdomen and pelvis. The association between BMI and image noise was examined using random-effects linear regression models. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between BMI, mAs, and conspicuity scores.

Results: Statistically significant differences in image noise were observed between 15 and 30 mAs in both the abdomen and pelvis, and the difference was greater with increasing BMI. A positive relationship was detected between BMI and noise in the abdomen (P < .001) and pelvis (P < .001). Inverse correlation was identified between BMI and conspicuity scores in the abdomen (P = .01) and pelvis (P < .001). Overall conspicuity scores were reduced for both 15 and 30 mAs groups as BMI increased.

Conclusion: The radiation dose for CTC can be reduced by 40% and 70% below commonly employed doses for overweight and normal BMI patients, respectively, by using a BMI-adjusted dose reduction approach. Conspicuity scores dropped in obese patients with reduced dose suggesting that standard accepted doses should be utilized in that group.

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index*
  • Colonography, Computed Tomographic*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Radiation Dosage*