THE IMPACT OF OBESITY ON ABDOMINAL CT RADIATION DOSE AND IMAGE QUALITY
A. A. Qurashi; L. A. Rainford; K. M. Alshamrani; S. J. Foley
Year of publication
Radiat Prot Dosimetry
The aim of this study was to evaluate how iterative reconstruction can compensate for the noise increase in low radiation dose abdominal computed tomography (CT) technique for large size patients and the general impact of obesity on abdominal organ doses and image quality in CT. An anthropomorphic phantom layered with either none or a single layer of 3-cm- thick circumferential animal fat packs to simulate obese patients was imaged using a 128MDCT scanner. Abdominal protocols (n = 12) were applied using automatic tube current modulation (ATCM) with various quality reference mAs (150, 200, 250 and 300). kVs of 100, 120 and 140 were used for each mAs selection. Metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor dosimeters (MOSFET) measured internal organ dose. All images produced were reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP) and sinogram affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE) (3, 4 and 5) and objective noise was measured within three regions of interest at the level of L4-L5. Organ doses varied from 0.12 to 41.9 mGy, the spleen received the highest doses for both phantom sizes. Compared to the phantom simulating average size, the obese phantom was associated with up to twofold increase in delivered mAs, dose length product (DLP) and computed tomography dose index (CTDIvol) for the matched mAs selection (p < 0.05). However, organ dose increased by 50% only. The use of 100 kV resulted in a 40% lower dose (p < 0.05) compared to 120 kV and the associated noise increase was improved by SAFIRE (5) use, which resulted in 60% noise reduction compared to FBP (p < 0.05). When combined with iterative reconstruction, low kV is feasible for obese patients to optimise radiation dose and maintain objective image quality.