Chest Tomosynthesis Potential Alternative to CT

August 11, 2014

Chest tomosynthesis may reduce the number of chest CTs and the resultant radiation doses.

Chest tomosynthesis (CTS) may be a helpful tool, optimizing chest CT resources and reducing resultant radiation doses, according to a study published in the journal Academic Radiology.

Swedish researchers performed a follow-up study of 149 patients (74 women, aged 18 to) to investigate the potential benefits and drawbacks of the clinical use of CTS, if CTS could eliminate the need for chest CT and any resultant reduction in radiation dose.

For the study, two radiologists determined if CT would have been performed had CTS not been an option, and whether CTS was an adequate examination. They then determined if CTS was beneficial, neutral or detrimental for the radiological work-up. The level of radiation used was also assessed. The subjects had undergone CTS for clinical purposes during a one-month period 3.5 years before the survey.

The results showed that CTS was beneficial in reducing the number of CTs performed. “It was judged that CT would have been performed in 100 cases, had CTS not been available, and that CTS obviated the need for CT in 80 cases,” the authors wrote. “CTS was judged as beneficial, neutral, and detrimental for the radiological work-up in 85, 13, and two cases, respectively. For the entire study population, the use of CTS decreased the average effective dose from 2.7 to 0.7 mSv.”

The researchers concluded that CTS may have benefits for the radiological work-up. The procedure has the potential to both optimize the use of CT resources and reduce the effective dose to the patient population. However, there is a drawback to the CTS examinations because they may not be able to reveal pathology that is visible with CT. For this reason, clinically doubtful cases could require further investigations, including other imaging procedures, they suggested.