The Challenges of Quantifying the Dose Delivered during CT Scans

August 1, 2012 | Evaluations & Guidance

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The energy absorbed by the patient during a computed tomography (CT) scan—that is, the radiation dose—cannot be measured directly. Thus, determining the dose delivered during a given CT study is anything but straightforward. Many CT scanners have implemented dose recording over the last few years by attaching a basic dose report to every CT study. The dose report includes at minimum the following dose metrics (see Comparing Dose in CT for additional details about these metrics):

(Some dose reports also include information about effective dose; this is a calculation intended to provide dose information about populations, not individual patients. Unfortunately, this fact is not always understood, and effective dose is often misused; see Effective Dose: What It Is, and What It Isn't for additional discussion. )...

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