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A simple method to retrospectively estimate patient dose-area product for chest tomosynthesis examinations performed using VolumeRAD
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The purpose of the present work was to develop and validate a method of retrospectively estimating the dose-area product (DAP) of a chest tomosynthesis examination performed using the VolumeRAD system (GE Healthcare, Chalfont St. Giles, UK) from digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) data available in the scout image.
DICOM data were retrieved for 20 patients undergoing chest tomosynthesis using VolumeRAD. Using information about how the exposure parameters for the tomosynthesis examination are determined by the scout image, a correction factor for the adjustment in field size with projection angle was determined. The correction factor was used to estimate the DAP for 20 additional chest tomosynthesis examinations from DICOM data available in the scout images, which was compared with the actual DAP registered for the projection radiographs acquired during the tomosynthesis examination.
A field size correction factor of 0.935 was determined. Applying the developed method using this factor, the average difference between the estimated DAP and the actual DAP was 0.2%, with a standard deviation of 0.8%. However, the difference was not normally distributed and the maximum error was only 1.0%. The validity and reliability of the presented method were thus very high.
A method to estimate the DAP of a chest tomosynthesis examination performed using the VolumeRAD system from DICOM data in the scout image was developed and validated. As the scout image normally is the only image connected to the tomosynthesis examination stored in the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) containing dose data, the method may be of value for retrospectively estimating patient dose in clinical use of chest tomosynthesis.
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