How to Appropriately Calculate Effective Dose for CT Using Either Size-Specific Dose Estimates or Dose-Length Product.AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 May; 204(5):953-8.AA
The purpose of this study is to show how to calculate effective dose in CT using size-specific dose estimates and to correct the current method using dose-length product (DLP).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Data were analyzed from 352 chest and 241 abdominopelvic CT images. Size-specific dose estimate was used as a surrogate for organ dose in the chest and abdominopelvic regions. Organ doses were averaged by patient weight-based populations and were used to calculate effective dose by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) report 103 method using tissue-weighting factors (EICRP). In addition, effective dose was calculated using population-averaged CT examination DLP for the chest and abdominopelvic region using published k-coefficients (EDLP = k × DLP).
EDLP differed from EICRP by an average of 21% (1.4 vs 1.1) in the chest and 42% (2.4 vs 3.4) in the abdominopelvic region. The differences occurred because the published kcoefficients did not account for pitch factor other than unity, were derived using a 32-cm diameter CT dose index (CTDI) phantom for CT examinations of the pediatric body, and used ICRP 60 tissue-weighting factors. Once it was corrected for pitch factor, the appropriate size of CTDI phantom, and ICRP 103 tissue-weighting factors, EDLP improved in agreement with EICRP to better than 7% (1.4 vs 1.3) and 4% (2.4 vs 2.5) for chest and abdominopelvic regions, respectively.
Current use of DLP to calculate effective dose was shown to be deficient because of the outdated means by which the k-coefficients were derived. This study shows a means to calculate EICRP using patient size-specific dose estimate and how to appropriately correct EDLP.