Automated tube potential selection for standard chest and abdominal CT in follow-up patients with testicular cancer: comparison with fixed tube potential

Gnannt, Ralph ; Winklehner, Anna ; Eberli, Daniel ; Knuth, Alexander ; Frauenfelder, Thomas ; Alkadhi, Hatem

In: European Radiology, 2012, vol. 22, no. 9, p. 1937-1945

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    Objective: To evaluate prospectively, in patients with testicular cancer, the radiation dose-saving potential and image quality of contrast-enhanced chest and abdominal CT with automated tube potential selection. Methods: Forty consecutive patients with testicular cancer underwent contrast-enhanced arterio-venous chest and portal-venous abdominal CT with automated tube potential selection (protocol B; tube potential 80-140kVp), which is based on the attenuation of the CT topogram. All had a first CT at 120kVp (protocol A) using the same 64-section CT machine and similar settings. Image quality was assessed; dose information (CTDIvol) was noted. Results: Image noise and attenuation in the liver and spleen were significantly higher for protocol B (P < 0.05 each), whereas attenuation in the deltoid and erector spinae muscles was similar. In protocol B, tube potential was reduced to 100kVp in 18 chest and 33 abdominal examinations, and to 80kVp in 5 abdominal CT examinations; it increased to 140kVp in one patient. Image quality of examinations using both CT protocols was rated as diagnostic. CTDIvol was significantly lower for protocol B compared to protocol A (reduction by 12%, P < 0.01). Conclusion: In patients with testicular cancer, radiation dose of chest and abdominal CT can be reduced with automated tube potential selection, while image quality is preserved