Age-specific effective doses for pediatric MSCT examinations at a large children's hospital using DLP conversion coefficients: a simple estimation method

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Abstract

Background

There is a need for an easily accessible method for effective dose estimation in pediatric CT.

Objective

To estimate effective doses for a variety of pediatric neurological and body CT examinations in five age groups using recently published age- and region-specific dose length product (DLP) to effective dose conversion coefficients.

Materials and methods

A retrospective review was performed of 1,431 consecutive CT scans over a 12-week period using age- and weight-adjusted CT protocols. Age- and region-specific DLP to effective dose conversion coefficients were applied to console-displayed DLP data.

Results

Effective dose estimates for single-phase head CT scans in neonatal, and 1-, 5-, 10- and 15-year-old age groups were 4.2, 3.6, 2.4, 2.0 and 1.4 mSv, respectively. For abdomen/pelvis CT scans the corresponding effective doses were 13.1, 11.1, 8.4, 8.9 and 5.9 mSv. The range of pediatric CT effective doses is wide, from ultralow dose protocols (<1 mSv) to extended-coverage body examinations (10–15 mSv).

Conclusion

Age- and region-specific pediatric DLP to effective dose conversion coefficients provide an accessible and user-friendly method for estimating pediatric CT effective doses that is available to radiologists working without medical physics support.

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