Temporal Trends in Radiation Dose Associated with Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography


Background: In 2010, the International Atomic Energy Agency launched the “3A’s campaign” as an effective tool for primary cancer prevention. In 2011, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine recommended the size specific dose estimate (SSDE). Objectives: To audit doses of Coronary CT Angiography (Coronary CTA) in tertiary care referral center. Methods: We reviewed 998 consecutive Coronary CTA (from 2007 to 2012). Doses (CTDIvol mGy), DLP (mGy*cm), effective dose (DLP*0.014, mSv) were on-line archived. SSDE was estimated retrospectively. Appropriateness score was evaluated for exams performed from the 2010. Results: Overall median dose per Coronary CTA was 49.7 mGy for CTDIvol, 55.5 mGy for SSDE, 994.96 mGy*cm for DLP, 13.9 mSv for effective dose. Median DLP decreased over time (1452.94 in 2007, 1605.56 in 2008, 1113.49 in 2009, 759.99 in 2010, 448.61 in 2011 and 497.88 mGy*cm in 2012, p < 0.0001). SSDE was proportional to the size dependent factor (SDF); in patients with SDF > 1 (88%) CTDIvol underestimated SSDE (48.49 vs 57.19 mGy), whilst in patients with SDF < 1 (12%) CTDIvol overestimated SSDE (56.46 vs 50.3 mGy). Scans were appropriate in 58%, uncertain in 24%, and inappropriate in 18% of cases. Doses were similar in appropriate, uncertain or inappropriate examinations and in excellent-to-good (81%) vs. sufficient-to-poor (19%) image quality exams. Conclusions: Coronary CTA reference doses can be very misleading. SSDE can allow individual technique optimization. The dose is similar in appropriate and inappropriate examinations, and unrelated to image quality. The rate of inappropriate examinations is still too high even after dissemination of guidelines.

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Marraccini, P. , Mazzarisi, A. , Carpeggiani, C. , Schluter, M. , Brambilla, M. , Bianchi, M. , Faggioni, L. , Coppini, G. , Bartolozzi, C. and Picano, E. (2014) Temporal Trends in Radiation Dose Associated with Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography. Open Journal of Radiology, 4, 101-110. doi: 10.4236/ojrad.2014.41013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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