Flat-panel CT versus 128-slice CT in temporal bone imaging: Assessment of image quality and radiation dose

Eur J Radiol. 2018 Sep;106:106-113. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2018.07.013. Epub 2018 Jul 24.


Objective: We compared the image quality and radiation dose of flat-panel CT (FPCT) and multi-slice CT (MSCT) performed respectively with an angiographic unit and a 128-slice CT scanner. We investigated whether the higher spatial resolution of FPCT translated into higher image quality and we sought to eliminate inter-subject variability by scanning temporal bone specimens with both techniques.

Materials and methods: Fifteen temporal bone specimens were imaged with FPCT and MSCT. Two neuroradiologists experienced in otoradiology evaluated 30 anatomical structures with a 0-2 score; 18 structures important from a clinical perspective were assigned a twofold value in calculation of the overall score. The radiation dose was calculated through the use of an anthropomorphic phantom.

Results: The image quality was significantly higher for FPCT than MSCT for 10 of the 30 anatomical structures; the overall score was also significantly higher for FPCT (p = 0.001). The equivalent dose of the two techniques was very similar, but with different effective doses to the organs.

Conclusion: FPCT performed on an angiographic unit provides higher image quality in temporal bone assessment compared to MSCT performed on a 128-slice CT scanner thanks to its higher spatial resolution, with comparable equivalent doses but different effective doses to the organs.

Keywords: Anatomy; Cone-beam computed tomography; Ear; Multidetector computed tomography; Radiation dosage; Temporal bone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Humans
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Temporal Bone / anatomy & histology*
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*