Computed tomography in children with cystic fibrosis: a new way to reduce radiation dose

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Abstract

Aims:

To determine whether the monitoring of respiratory disease progression in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) can be made using six pre-selected computed tomography (CT) cuts in lieu of the conventional full study.

Methods:

Forty one lung CT scans from 21 paediatric patients with CF were analysed. The Bhalla and Nathanson scores of the total lung CT and the six pre-selected CT cuts were compared.

Results:

The Bhalla mean score of the total lung CT evaluated by two radiologists was 5.62. It was 5.36 when just the six pre-selected sections were evaluated. The difference between means was not statistically significant. The Nathanson mean score of the total lung CT evaluated by both radiologists was 66.11; it was 66.51 when just the six pre-selected sections were evaluated. The difference between means was not statistically significant. The mean total radiation dose from a single whole lung CT scan was 716.22 mGy.cm. A dose of 250.66 mGy.cm was estimated if only six sections were used, with a reduction in radiation of about 65%.

Conclusion:

It is possible to obtain the same radiological information from six pre-selected CT cuts as it is from a full pulmonary CT scan, thereby markedly reducing radiation exposure for children who will require repeat investigations in the future.

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