Automatic selection of tube potential for radiation dose reduction in vascular and contrast-enhanced abdominopelvic CT

Lifeng Yu, Joel G. Fletcher, Katharine L. Grant, Rickey E. Carter, David M. Hough, John M. Barlow, Terri J. Vrtiska, Eric E. Williamson, Phillip M. Young, Brian C. Goss, Maria Shiung, Shuai Leng, Ranier Raupach, Bernhard Schmidt, Thomas Flohr, Cynthia H. McCollough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Objective. The purpose of this study is to assess the ability of a novel automatic tube potential selection tool to reduce radiation dose while maintaining diagnostic quality in CT angiography (CTA) and contrast-enhanced abdominopelvic CT. Materials and Methods. One hundred one CTA examinations and 90 contrastenhanced abdominopelvic examinations were performed using an automatic tube potential selection tool on a 128-MDCT scanner. Two vascular radiologists and two abdominal radiologists evaluated the image quality for sharpness, noise, artifact, and diagnostic confidence. In a subset of patients who had undergone prior studies (CTA, 28 patients; abdominopelvic CT, 25 patients), a side-by-side comparison was performed by a separate radiologist. Dose reduction and iodine contrast-to-noise ratio resulting from use of the tool were calculated. Results. For CTA, 80 or 100 kV was selected for 73% of the scans, with a mean dose reduction of 36% relative to the reference 120-kV protocol. For abdominopelvic CT e aminations, 80 or 100 kV was used for 55% of the scans, with a mean dose reduction of 25%. Overall dose reduction relative to the reference 120-kV protocol was 25% and 13% for CTA and abdominopelvic CT scans, respectively. Over 98% of scans had acceptable sharpness, noise texture, artifact, and diagnostic confidence for both readers and diagnostic tasks; 94-100% of scans had acceptable noise. Iodine contrast-to-noise ratio was significantly higher than (p < 0.001) or similar to (p = 0.11) that of prior scans, and equivalent quality was achieved despite the dose reduction. Conclusion. Automatic tube potential selection provides an efficient and quantitativeway to guide the selection of the optimal tube potential for CTA and abdominopelvic CT examinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)W297-W306
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013



  • Abdominal CT
  • CT
  • CT angiography
  • CT protocol optimization
  • Radiation dose reduction
  • Tube potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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