July 1, 2009 - Radiologists can effectively lower the patient radiation dose by approximately 44 percent and improve vascular enhancement without deterioration of image quality, while screening for possible pulmonary emboli using pulmonary CT angiography, according to a study Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., published in the June issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Researchers used pulmonary CT angiography to evaluate a total of 400 patients believed to have a pulmonary embolism. Two hundred patients were evaluated using the standard peak kilovoltage setting of 130 or 120 kVp and the other 200 patients were evaluated using a low peak kilovoltage setting of 110 or 100 kVp. Shin Matsuoka, M.D., lead author of the study, and his team found that lowering the peak kilovoltage setting by 20-kVp led to superior vascular enhancement without deterioration of image quality allowing them to effectively reduce the patient radiation dose.
The study shows that lowering the kilovoltage setting may be an effective method of lowering the radiation dose for most patients.
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