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Systematic Comparison of Reduced Tube Current Protocols for High-pitch and Standard-pitch Pulmonary CT Angiography in a Large Single-center Population

Journal Paper/Review - Feb 19, 2016

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Citation
Bucher A, Kerl M, Albrecht M, Beeres M, Ackermann H, Wichmann J, Vogl T, Bauer R, Lehnert T. Systematic Comparison of Reduced Tube Current Protocols for High-pitch and Standard-pitch Pulmonary CT Angiography in a Large Single-center Population. Acad Radiol 2016; 23:619-27.
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Journal Paper/Review (English)
Journal
Acad Radiol 2016; 23
Publication Date
Feb 19, 2016
Issn Print
Issn Electronic
1878-4046
Pages
619-27
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Brief description/objective

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES
Benefits of iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms combined with dose-reduction techniques have been shown at computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) in several medium to small patient collectives. In this study, we performed a systematic comparison of image quality to combinations of reduced tube current (RC) and IR for both standard-pitch (SP) single-source and high-pitch (HP) dual-source CTPA in a large, single-center population.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
Three hundred eighty-two consecutive patients (October 2010 through December 2012) received clinically indicated CTPA with one of four consecutively changed protocols: (1) HPSC: 180 mAs, weighted filtered back projection, pitch = 3; (2) HPRC: 90 mAs, IR, pitch = 3; (3) SPSC: 180 mAs, weighted filtered back projection, pitch = 1.2; and (4) HPRC: 90 mAs, IR, pitch = 1.2. Tube potential was 100 kV. Vascular attenuation and standardized signal-to-noise ratio (sSNR) were measured in the pulmonary trunk (sSNRPT) and on segmental artery level (sSNRS1, sSNRS10). Dose-length-product was recorded per series. Two independent investigators rated image quality. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and kappa statistics were used for statistical analysis. Median values are presented per group.

RESULTS
Image quality was consistent between all groups (observer 1: P = 0.118; observer 2: P = 0.122). Inter-reader consistency was very good (κ = 0.866, P < 0.001). Dose-length-product was significantly reduced in HP and RC groups (P < 0.001 for each; SPSC: 139.5 mGycm; HPRC: 92 mGycm; SPSC: 211 mGycm; HPRC: 137 mGycm). sSNR was comparable (sSNRPT overall: P = 0.052; sSNRS1 overall: P = 0.161; and sSNRS10 overall: P = 0.259).

CONCLUSIONS
Substantial dose reduction can be within a routine clinical setting without quantifiable loss of image quality either by HP pulmonary angiography or by a combination of IR and RC in either HP or SP acquisition.