A New Dual-purpose Quality Control Dosimetry Protocol for Diagnostic Reference-level Determination in Computed Tomography

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A diagnostic reference level is an advisory dose level set by a regulatory authority in a country as an efficient criterion for protection of patients from unwanted medical exposure. In computed tomography, the direct dose measurement and data collection methods are commonly applied for determination of diagnostic reference levels. Recently, a new quality-control-based dose survey method was proposed by the authors to simplify the diagnostic reference-level determination using a retrospective quality control database usually available at a regulatory authority in a country. In line with such a development, a prospective dual-purpose quality control dosimetry protocol is proposed for determination of diagnostic reference levels in a country, which can be simply applied by quality control service providers. This new proposed method was applied to five computed tomography scanners in Shiraz, Iran, and diagnostic reference levels for head, abdomen/pelvis, sinus, chest, and lumbar spine examinations were determined. The results were compared to those obtained by the data collection and quality-control-based dose survey methods, carried out in parallel in this study, and were found to agree well within approximately 6%. This is highly acceptable for quality-control-based methods according to International Atomic Energy Agency tolerance levels (±20%).

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