SU-E-I-27: Estimating KERMA Area Product for CT Localizer Images




To estimate the free-in-air KERMA-Area Product (KAP) incident on patients due to CT localizer scans for common CT exams.


In-plane beam intensity profiles were measured in localizer acquisition mode using OSLs for a 64 slice MDCT scanner (Lightspeed VCT, GE Medical Systems, Waukesha WI). The z-axis beam width was measured as a function of distance from isocenter. The beam profile and width were used to calculate a weighted average air KERMA per unit mAs as a function of intercepted x-axis beam width for objects symmetric about the localizer centerline.Patient areas were measured using manually drawn regions and divided by localizer length to determine average width. Data were collected for 50 head exams (lateral localizer only), 15 head/neck exams, 50 chest exams, and 50 abdomen/pelvis exams. Mean patient widths and acquisition techniques were used to calculate the weighted average free-in-air KERMA, which was multiplied by the patient area to estimate KAP.


Scan technique was 120 kV tube voltage, 10 mA current, and table speed of 10 cm/s. The mean ± standard deviation values of KAP were 120 ± 11.6, 469 ± 62.6, 518 ± 45, and 763 ± 93 mGycm2 for head, head/neck, chest, and abdomen/pelvis exams, respectively. For studies with AP and lateral localizers, the AP/lateral area ratio was 1.20, 1.33, and 1.24 for the head/neck, chest, and abdomen/pelvis exams, respectively. However, the AP/lateral KAP ratios were 1.12, 1.08, and 1.07, respectively.


Calculation of KAP in CT localizers is complicated by the non-uniform intensity profile and z-axis beam width. KAP values are similar to those for simple radiographic exams such as a chest radiograph and represent a small fraction of the x-ray exposure at CT. However, as CT doses are reduced the localizer contribution will be a more significant fraction of the total exposure.