A new low-dose multi-phase trauma CT protocol and its impact on diagnostic assessment and radiation dose in multi-trauma patients.
Emerg Radiol. 2017 Apr 5. doi: 10.1007/s10140-017-1496-4. [Epub ahead of print] Alagic Z1, Eriksson A1, Drageryd E2, Motamed SR1, Wick MC3,4.
PURPOSE: Computed tomography (CT) examinations, often using high-radiation dosages, are increasingly used in the acute management of polytrauma patients. This study compares a low-dose polytrauma multi-phase whole-body CT (WBCT) protocol on a latest generation of 16-cm detector 258-slice multi-detector CT (MDCT) scanner with advanced dose reduction techniques to a single-phase polytrauma WBCT protocol on a 64-slice MDCT scanner.
METHODS: Between March and September 2015, 109 polytrauma patients (group A) underwent acute WBCT with a low-dose multi-phase WBCT protocol on a 258-slice MDCT whereas 110 polytrauma patients (group B) underwent single-phase trauma CT on a 64-slice MDCT. The diagnostic accuracy to trauma-related injuries, radiation dose, quantitative and semiquantitative image quality parameters, subjective image quality scorings, and workflow time parameters were compared.
RESULTS: In group A, statistically significantly more arterial injuries (p = 0.04) and arterial dissections (p = 0.002) were detected. In group A, the mean (±SD) dose length product value was 1681 ± 183 mGy*cm and markedly lower when compared to group B (p < 0.001). The SDs of the mean Houndsfield unit values of the brain, liver, and abdominal aorta were lower in group A (p < 0.001). Mean signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) for the brain, liver, and abdominal aorta were significantly higher in group A (p < 0.001). Group A had significantly higher image quality scores for all analyzed anatomical locations (p < 0.02). However, the mean time from patient registration until completion of examination was significantly longer for group A (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The low-dose multi-phase CT protocol improves diagnostic accuracy and image quality at markedly reduced radiation. However, due to technical complexities and surplus electronic data provided by the newer low-dose technique, examination time increases, which reduces workflow in acute emergency situations.