Reducing radiation dose for paediatric CT

19 February 2014

Radiation dose, always a concern in CT, is particularly risky for children. Luckily, there is a new way to reduce the dose without adversely affecting image quality, according to a study published online in Radiology.

Typically, dose reduction is associated with increased image noise, which makes the CT exam harder to read. In 2009, a technique known as adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) was developed to help address this problem in reconstructed images.

This particular study was designed to ascertain the optimal ASIR implementation in paediatric patients. It assessed chest and abdominopelvic CT images performed on 183 children, analysing them for contrast-to-noise ratio and image noise.

Researchers found that a 40% implementation was ideal, reducing dose by an average of 39% for chest CT and 29% for abdonimnopelvic CT. The maximum reductions obtained were 72% and 64% respectively.

"By using the ASIR algorithm to improve image noise in an unreconstructed image, ASIR can be used as a dose reduction tool by allowing more noise in and image, decreasing radiation output, and then cleaning up the noisy, dose-reduced image with the ASIR algorithm," wrote lead author, Samuel Grady, from the St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, US.

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