Entrance skin dosimetry and size-specific dose estimate frompediatric chest CTA

Sjirk J. Westra, Xinhua Li, Kavita Gulati, Sarabjeet Singh, Bob Liu, Mannudeep K. Kalra, Suhny Abbara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Size-specific dose estimate (SSDE), which corrects CT dose index (CTDI) for body diameter and is a better measure of organ dose than is CTDI, has not yet been validated invivo. Objective: The purpose was to determine the correlation between SSDE and measured breast entrance skin dose (ESD) for pediatric chest CT angiography across a variety of techniques, scanner models, and patient sizes. Methods: During 42 examinations done on 4 different scanners over 7 years, we measured mid-sternal ESD as an approximation of breast dose with skin dosimeters. We recorded age, weight, effective tube current, kilovoltage potential, console CTDI, and dose-length product, from which we calculated effective dose. We measured effective chest diameter to convert CTDI to SSDE, and we correlated SSDE with measured ESD, using linear regression. We evaluated image quality to answer the clinical question. Results: Patient mean (±SD) age was 8.4 ± 6.1 years (median, 7.9 years; range, 0.02-19.5 years); mean weight was 35 ± 27 kg (median, 26 kg; range, 3.5-115 kg); effective chest diameter was 20±7 cm (median, 19 cm; range, 10-35 cm). Mean effective dose was 2.9 ± 2.8 mSv (median, 2.2mSv; range, 0.1-14.4 mSv). We observed a linear correlation (R2= 0.98, P < .005) between SSDE (mean, 11 ± 11mGy; median, 7 mGy; range, 0.5-40 mGy) and breast ESD (mean, 12 ± 11 mGy; median, 7 mGy; range, 0.3-44 mGy). Our doses, which compared favorably with those previously reported, decreased significantly (P < .05) during the course of our study, because of the introduction of automatic exposure control, low kilovoltage, and high pitch techniques. All studies were of diagnostic quality. Conclusion: SSDE is a valid dose measure in children undergoing chest CT angiography over a wide range of scanner platforms, techniques, and patient sizes, and it may be used to model breast dose and to document the results of dose reduction strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of cardiovascular computed tomography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Breast dose
  • CT image quality
  • Chest CT angiography
  • Effective dose
  • Pediatric
  • Radiation dose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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