Using the American College of Radiology Dose Index Registry to Evaluate Practice Patterns and Radiation Dose Estimates of Pediatric Body CT.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Mar;210(3):641-647. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.18122. Epub 2018 Jan 11. Wildman-Tobriner B1, Strauss KJ2, Bhargavan-Chatfield M3, Kadom N4, Vock P5, Applegate KE6, Frush DP1.
OBJECTIVE: Imaging registries afford opportunities to study large, heterogeneous populations. The purpose of this study was to examine the American College of Radiology CT Dose Index Registry (DIR) for dose-related demographics and metrics of common pediatric body CT examinations.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Single-phase CT examinations of the abdomen and pelvis and chest submitted to the DIR over a 5-year period (July 2011-June 2016) were evaluated (head CT frequency was also collected). CT examinations were stratified into five age groups, and examination frequency was determined across age and sex. Standard dose indexes (volume CT dose index, dose-length product, and size-specific dose estimate) were categorized by body part and age. Contributions to the DIR were also categorized by region and practice type.
RESULTS: Over the study period 411,655 single-phase pediatric examinations of the abdomen and pelvis, chest, and head, constituting 5.7% of the total (adult and pediatric) examinations, were submitted to the DIR. Head CT was the most common examination across all age groups. The majority of all scan types were performed for patients in the second decade of life. Dose increased for all scan types as age increased; the dose for abdominopelvic CT was the highest in each age group. Even though the DIR was queried for single-phase examinations only, as many as 32.4% of studies contained multiple irradiation events. When these additional scans were included, the volume CT dose index for each scan type increased. Among the studies in the DIR, 99.8% came from institutions within the United States. Community practices and those that specialize in pediatrics were nearly equally represented.
CONCLUSION: The DIR provides valuable information about practice patterns and dose trends for pediatric CT and may assist in establishing diagnostic reference levels in the pediatric population.