Ultra-Low-Dose Neck CT With Low-Dose Contrast Material for Preoperative Staging of Thyroid Cancer: Image Quality and Diagnostic Performance.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2019 Apr;212(4):748-754. doi: 10.2214/AJR.18.20334. Epub 2018 Dec 17.
Yeom JA1, Roh J1, Jeong YJ2, Lee JC3, Kim HY4, Suh YJ5, Baik SK1.
OBJECTIVE: Although CT has been used as a complementary diagnostic method for the preoperative diagnosis of thyroid cancer, it has the shortcomings of substantial radiation exposure and the use of contrast material (CM). The purpose of this article is to evaluate the image quality and diagnostic performance of 70-kVp thyroid CT with low volumes of CM versus conventional 120-kVp thyroid CT protocol.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighty patients referred for preoperative thyroid CT were randomly divided into two groups (group A: 40 patients, 70 kVp, 60 mL of CM; group B: 40 patients, 120 kVp, 100 mL of CM). Quantitative and qualitative image quality and radiation doses for the two groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U and chi-square tests. Degrees of agreement between preoperative CT staging and pathologic results were evaluated and compared using the Wald statistic.
RESULTS: Calculated signal-to-noise ratios of different anatomic structures, calculated contrast-to-noise ratios, overall image quality, subjective noise, and streak artifacts were not significantly different between the two groups (all p > 0.05), and neither were the accuracies of preoperative CT staging (all p > 0.05). The estimated effective doses were significantly lower in group A (mean [± SD], 0.52 ± 0.14 mSv in group A and 2.28 ± 0.29 mSv in group B; p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Ultra-low-dose 70-kVp CT with a low volume of CM provides sufficient image quality for preoperative staging of thyroid cancer and substantially reduces the radiation dose compared with standard 120-kVp CT.