Radiation Dose Reduction at Pediatric CT: Use of Low Tube Voltage and Iterative Reconstruction.
Radiographics. 2018 Sep-Oct;38(5):1421-1440. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018180041.
Nagayama Y1, Oda S1, Nakaura T1, Tsuji A1, Urata J1, Furusawa M1, Utsunomiya D1, Funama Y1, Kidoh M1, Yamashita Y1.
Given the growing awareness of and concern for potential carcinogenic effects of exposure of children to ionizing radiation at CT, optimizing acquisition parameters is crucial to achieve diagnostically acceptable image quality at the lowest possible radiation dose. Among currently available dose reduction techniques, recent technical innovations have allowed the implementation of low tube voltage scans and iterative reconstruction (IR) techniques into daily clinical practice for pediatric CT. The benefits of lowering tube voltage include a considerable reduction in radiation dose and improved contrast on images, especially when an iodinated contrast medium is used. The increase in noise, which is attributed to decreased photon penetration, is a major drawback but is not as severe as that at adult CT because of the small body size of children. In addition, use of IR algorithms can suppress increased noise, yielding wider applicability for low tube voltage scans. However, a careful implementation strategy and methodologic approach are necessary to maximize the potential for dose reduction while preserving diagnostic image quality under each clinical condition. The potential pitfalls of and topics related to these techniques include (a) the effect of tube voltage on the surface radiation dose, (b) the effect of window settings, (c) accentuation of metallic artifacts, (d) deterioration of low contrast detectability at low-dose settings, (e) interscanner variation of x-ray spectra, and (f) a comparison with the use of a spectral shaping technique. Appropriate use of low tube voltage and IR techniques is helpful for radiation dose reduction in most applications of pediatric CT. Online DICOM image stacks are available for this article .