by Yi-Wei Lee, Ching-Ching Yang, Greta S. P. Mok, Tung-Hsin Wu
The aims of this study were to investigate the image quality and radiation exposure of pediatric protocols for cardiac CT angiography (CTA) in infants under one year of age. Methodology/Principal Findings
Cardiac CTA examinations were performed using an anthropomorphic phantom representing a 1-year-old child scanned with non-electrocardiogram-gated (NG), retrospectively electrocardiogram-gated helical (RGH) and prospectively electrocardiogram-gated axial (PGA) techniques in 64-slice and 256-slice CT scanners. The thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) were used for direct organ dose measurement, while dose-length product and effective mAs were also used to estimate the patient dose. For image quality, noise and signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) were assessed based on regions-of-interest drawn on the reconstructed CT images, and were compared with the proposed cardiac image quantum index (CIQI). Estimated dose results were in accordant to the measured doses. The NG scan showed the best image quality in terms of noise and SNR. The PGA scan had better image quality than the RGH scan with 83.70% dose reduction. Noise and SNR were also corresponded to the proposed CIQI. Conclusions/Significance
The PGA scan protocol was a good choice in balancing radiation exposure and image quality for infant cardiac CTA. We also suggested that the effective mAs and the CIQI were suitable in assessing the tradeoffs between radiation dose and image quality for cardiac CTA in infants. These results are useful for future implementation of dose reduction strategies in pediatric cardiac CTA protocols.