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Variability in image quality and radiation dose within and across 97 medical facilities

Variability in image quality and radiation dose within and across 97 medical facilities Abstract.Purpose: To characterize variability in image quality and radiation dose across a large cohort of computed tomography (CT) examinations and identify the scan factors with the highest influence on the observed variabilities.Approach: This retrospective institutional-review-board-exempt investigation was performed on 87,629 chest and abdomen-pelvis CT scans acquired for 97 facilities from 2018 to 2019. Images were assessed in terms of noise, resolution, and dose metrics (global noise, frequency in which modulation transfer function is at 0.50, and volumetric CT dose index, respectively). The results were fit to linear mixed-effects models to quantify the variabilities as affected by scan parameters and settings and patient characteristics. A list of factors, ranked by t-value with p  <  0.05, was ascertained for each of the six mixed effects models. A type III p-value test was used to assess the influence of facility.Results: Across different facilities, image quality and dose were significantly different (p  <  0.05), with little correlation between their mean magnitudes and consistency (Pearson’s correlation coefficient  <  0.34). Scanner model, slice thickness, recon field-of-view and kernel, mAs, kVp, patient size, and centering were the most influential factors. The two body regions exhibited similar rankings of these factors for noise (Spearman’s correlation coefficient  =  0.76) and dose (Spearman’s correlation coefficient  =  0.86) but not for resolution (Spearman’s correlation coefficient  =  0.52).Conclusions: Clinical CT scans can vary in image quality and dose with broad implications for diagnostic utility and radiation burden. Average scan quality was not correlated with interpatient scan-quality consistency. For a given facility, this variability can be quite large, with magnitude differences across facilities. The knowledge of the most influential factors per body region may be used to better manage these variabilities within and across facilities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Medical Imaging SPIE

Variability in image quality and radiation dose within and across 97 medical facilities

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Publisher
SPIE
Copyright
© 2021 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
ISSN
2329-4302
eISSN
2329-4310
DOI
10.1117/1.jmi.8.5.052105
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract.Purpose: To characterize variability in image quality and radiation dose across a large cohort of computed tomography (CT) examinations and identify the scan factors with the highest influence on the observed variabilities.Approach: This retrospective institutional-review-board-exempt investigation was performed on 87,629 chest and abdomen-pelvis CT scans acquired for 97 facilities from 2018 to 2019. Images were assessed in terms of noise, resolution, and dose metrics (global noise, frequency in which modulation transfer function is at 0.50, and volumetric CT dose index, respectively). The results were fit to linear mixed-effects models to quantify the variabilities as affected by scan parameters and settings and patient characteristics. A list of factors, ranked by t-value with p  <  0.05, was ascertained for each of the six mixed effects models. A type III p-value test was used to assess the influence of facility.Results: Across different facilities, image quality and dose were significantly different (p  <  0.05), with little correlation between their mean magnitudes and consistency (Pearson’s correlation coefficient  <  0.34). Scanner model, slice thickness, recon field-of-view and kernel, mAs, kVp, patient size, and centering were the most influential factors. The two body regions exhibited similar rankings of these factors for noise (Spearman’s correlation coefficient  =  0.76) and dose (Spearman’s correlation coefficient  =  0.86) but not for resolution (Spearman’s correlation coefficient  =  0.52).Conclusions: Clinical CT scans can vary in image quality and dose with broad implications for diagnostic utility and radiation burden. Average scan quality was not correlated with interpatient scan-quality consistency. For a given facility, this variability can be quite large, with magnitude differences across facilities. The knowledge of the most influential factors per body region may be used to better manage these variabilities within and across facilities.

Journal

Journal of Medical ImagingSPIE

Published: Sep 1, 2021

Keywords: Image quality; radiation dose; patient-specific; computed tomography

References