A Convex Reconstruction Model for X-ray Tomographic Imaging with Uncertain Flat- fields
OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to investigate the degree to which the total radiation dose for CT urography can be lowered by selective reduction of the dose in the unenhanced and excretory phases when images in these phases are systematically evaluated alongside normal-dose corticomedullary phase images. SUBJECTS AND METHODS Twenty-seven patients (mean age, 74±9 years) underwent single-bolus CT urography with acquisition in the unenhanced, corticomedullary, and 5-minute excretory phases. The scanning parameters for normal-dose CT urography were as follows: 16×0.75 mm, 120 kV, and automatic exposure control technique reference tube loads of 100, 120, and 100 effective mAs (mAseff). The patients also underwent low-dose unenhanced and excretory phase scanning, in which the dose was escalated stepwise from a volume CT dose index (CTDIvol) of 1.7 to 6.6 mGy (reference 20-40-60-80 mAseff). Images were analyzed for quality and diagnostic confidence. If low-dose scans of three patients were inadequate, the study continued to the next dose level. When 20 patients were successfully included in the unenhanced and excretory phase groups, the study ended. Doses were calculated with a CT patient dosimetry calculator. RESULTS Combined with the normal dose for corticomedullary phase scanning, doses of CTDIvol 1.5 mGy for the unenhanced phase and CTDIvol 2.7 mGy for the excretory phase were sufficient. The effective dose for three-phase CT urography was lowered from 16.2 to 9.4 mSv, a decrease of 42%. Diagnostic confidence in low-dose images was equal to that in normal-dose images when low-dose unenhanced and excretory phase images were read along-side normal-dose corticomedullary phase images. CONCLUSION With a three-phase CT urographic protocol, significant dose reductions in the unenhanced and excretory phases can be achieved when these phases are combined with a normal-dose corticomedullary phase.