OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to assess the radiation dose and image quality of pediatric head CT examinations before and after radiologic staff training. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Outpatients 1 month to 14 years old underwent 215 unenhanced head CT examinations before and after intensive training of staff radiologists and technologists in optimization of CT technique. Patients were divided into three age groups (0-4, 5-9, and 10-14 years), and CT dose index, dose-length product, tube voltage, and tube current-rotation time product values before and after training were retrieved from the hospital PACS. Gray matter conspicuity and contrast-to-noise ratio before and after training were calculated, and subjective image quality in terms of artifacts, gray-white matter differentiation, noise, visualization of posterior fossa structures, and need for repeat CT examination was visually evaluated by three neuroradiologists. RESULTS. The median CT dose index and dose-length product values were significantly lower after than before training in all age groups (27 mGy and 338 mGy . cm vs 107 mGy and 1444 mGy . cm in the 0- to 4-year-old group, 41 mGy and 483 mGy . cm vs 68 mGy and 976 mGy . cm in the 5- to 9-year-old group, and 51 mGy and 679 mGy . cm vs 107 mGy and 1480 mGy . cm in the 10- to 14-year-old group; p < 0.001). The tube voltage and tube current-time values after training were significantly lower than the levels before training (p < 0.001). Subjective posttraining image quality was not inferior to pretraining levels for any item except noise (p < 0.05), which, however, was never diagnostically unacceptable. CONCLUSION. Radiologic staff training can be effective in reducing radiation dose while preserving diagnostic image quality in pediatric head CT examinations.
|Autori:||Paolicchi F; Faggioni L; Bastiani L; Molinaro S; Puglioli M; Caramella D; Bartolozzi C.|
|Titolo:||Optimizing the balance between radiation dose and image quality in pediatric head CT: findings before and after intensive radiologic staff training.|
|Anno del prodotto:||2014|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.2214/AJR.13.11741|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|