Pediatric heart imaging delivers high x-ray dose

July 1, 2005

Duke University researchers have determined that children undergoing cardiac CT angiography receive twice the dose of radiation incurred by adults. They recommend that radiologists should not routinely perform the technique until further research defines dose-reduction strategies.

Duke University researchers have determined that children undergoing cardiac CT angiography receive twice the dose of radiation incurred by adults. They recommend that radiologists should not routinely perform the technique until further research defines dose-reduction strategies.

Using a 16-slice scanner and a five-year-old anthropomorphic phantom, Dr. Caroline Hollingsworth and colleagues found that the protocol using 120 kVp and 330 mA delivered a total effective dose of 28.4 mSv. An adult gated CTA exam averages 12 mSv.

The protocol using 80 kVp at 385 mA delivered the lowest amount of radiation to the breast and bone marrow/spine (53 mSv and 19 mSv). At 220 mA, the numbers increased to 78 mSv and 41 mSv, respectively.