Lens Dose Reduction by Patient Posture Modification During Neck CT.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 May;210(5):1111-1117. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.18261. Epub 2018 Mar 16. Mosher EG1, Butman JA2, Folio LR2, Biassou NM2, Lee C1.
OBJECTIVE: Radiation exposure of the lens during neck CT may increase a patient's risk of developing cataracts. Radiologists at the National Institutes of Health worked with technicians to modify the neck CT scanning procedure to include a reduction in the scanning range, a reduction in the tube potential (kilovoltage), and a change in neck positioning using a head tilt. We objectively quantified the organ dose changes after this procedure modification using a computer simulation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed CT images of 40 patients (20 men and 20 women) scanned before and after the procedure change. Radiation dose to the lens delivered before and after the procedure change was calculated using an in-house CT dose calculator combined with computational human phantoms deformed to match head tilt angles. We also calculated the doses to other radiosensitive organs including the brain, pituitary gland, eye globes, and salivary glands before and after the procedure change.
RESULTS: Our dose calculations showed that modifying the neck position, shortening the scanning range, and reducing the tube potential reduced the dose to the lens by 89% (p < 0.0001). The median brain, pituitary gland, globes, and salivary gland doses also decreased by 59%, 52%, 66%, and 29%, respectively. We found that overranging significantly affects the lens dose.
CONCLUSION: Combining head tilt and scanning range reduction is an easy and effective method that significantly reduces radiation dose to the lens and other radiosensitive head and neck organs.