A method for describing the absorbed dose delivered by x-ray transmission computed tomography (CT) is proposed which provides a means to characterize the dose resulting from CT procedures consisting of a series of adjacent scans. The dose descriptor chosen is the average dose at several locations in the imaged volume of the central scan of the series. It is shown that this average dose, as defined, for locations in the central scan of the series can be obtained from the integral of the dose profile perpendicular to the scan plane at these same locations for a single scan. This method for estimating the average dose from a CT procedure has been evaluated as a function of the number of scans in the multiple scan procedure and location in the dosimetry phantom using single scan dose profiles obtained from five different types of CT systems. For the higher dose regions in the phantoms, the multiple scan dose descriptor derived from the single scan dose profiles overestimates the multiple scan average dose by no more than 10%, provided the procedure consists of at least eight scans.