A comprehensive method for calculating patient effective dose and other dosimetric quantities from CT DICOM images.AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2012 Jul; 199(1):133-41.AA
The purpose of this article is to present a method for the calculation of effective dose using the DICOM header information of CT images.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Using specialized software, the DICOM data were automatically extracted into a spreadsheet containing embedded functions for calculating effective dose. These data were used to calculate the dose-length product (DLP) fraction that corresponds to each image, and the respective effective dose was obtained by multiplying the image DLP by a conversion coefficient that was automatically selected depending on the CT scanner, the tube potential, and the anatomic position to which each image corresponded. The total effective dose was calculated as the sum of effective doses of all images plus the contribution of overscan. The conversion coefficient tables were derived using dosimetry calculator software for both the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) 60 and ICRP 103 organ-weighting schemes. This method was applied for 90 chest, abdomen-pelvis, and chest-abdomen-pelvis examinations performed in three different MDCT scanners.
The DLP values calculated with this method were in good agreement with those calculated by the CT scanners' software. The effective dose values calculated using the ICRP 103 conversion coefficient compared with those calculated using the ICRP 60 conversion coefficient were roughly equal for the chest-abdomen-pelvis examinations, smaller for the abdomen-pelvis examinations, and larger for the chest examinations. The applicability of this method for estimating organ doses was also explored.
With this method, all patient dose-related quantities, such as the DLP, effective dose, and individual organ doses, can be calculated.