CT Dose-Reduction Technologies

April 1, 2010 | Evaluations & Guidance


Modern computed tomography (CT) can provide high-quality dynamic images of anatomy, including beating hearts. But to achieve such images, CT systems with greater power have become widely used—and if this power isn't used properly, it could greatly amplify the radiation dose delivered to patients, placing them at an unnecessarily increased risk of cancer. To help reduce the chances of delivering inappropriate dose during CT, a variety of dose-saving technologies have been developed.

Most dose-reduction technology is integrated into CT systems. Since the technology is not standardized, there will be differences in the dose reduction between different CT platforms. Some of these options are widely implemented and are part of the standard configuration, while others are costly upgrades or available only on specific CT platforms. Still others can be implemented on any CT scanner and are available from third-party companies. Each has advantages and disadvantages, as we describe in this article. The typical and maximum potential dose savings for each technique are listed in the table below.

For information about practices and device settings that can help your facility ensure that the lowest reasonable dose is delivered to patients, see 16 Process Improvements to Reduce CT Dose.

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