MO-FG-CAMPUS-IeP1-03: Establishment of Provincial Diagnostic Reference Levels in Pediatric Imaging




To establish provincial diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) in pediatric general radiography and computed tomography (CT) as a tool for the optimization of exposure parameters.


Patient dose survey was conducted in the only pediatric hospital in the province of Nova Scotia. The DRLs were established as the 75th percentile of patient dose distributions in different age groups. For routine radiography projections the DRLs were determined in terms of entrance surface dose (ESD) calculated from the radiation output measurements and the tube current-exposure time product (mAs) recorded for each examination. Patient thickness was measured by the technologist during the examination. The CR and DR systems, employing respectively a fixed technique and phototiming, were evaluated separately; a two-tailed Student's t-test was used to determine the significance of differences between the means of dose distributions. The CT studies included routine head, chest, abdomen/pelvis, and chest/abdomen/pelvis. The volume CT dose index (CTDIvol) and dose-length product (DLP) values were extracted retrospectively from PACS. The correction factors based on the effective diameter of the patient were applied to the CT dosimetry metrics based on the standard phantoms.


The provincial DRLs were established in the following age groups: newborn, 1, 5, 10, and 15 year olds. In general radiography the DR systems demonstrated slightly lower dose than the CR for all views, however the differences were not statistically significant (p > 0.05) for all examinations. In CT the provincial DRLs were lower than the published data, except for head DLPs in all age categories. This might be due to the small patient sample size in the survey. Future work will include additional CT data collection over an extended period of time.


Provincial DRLs were established in the dedicated children's hospital to provide guidance for the other facilities in examinations of pediatric patients.