Purpose: It is well known that the main portion of artificial sources of ionizing radiation to human results from X-ray imaging techniques. However, reports carried out in various countries have indicated that most of their cumulative doses from artificial sources are due to CT examinations. Hence assessing doses resulted from CT examinations is highly recommended by national and international radiation protection agencies. The aim of this research has been to estimate the effective and organ doses in an average human according to 103 and 60 ICRP tissue weighting factor for six common protocols of Multi-Detector CT (MDCT) machine in a comprehensive training general hospital in Tehran/Iran.
Methods: To calculate the patients' effective dose, the CT-Expo2.2 software was used. Organs/tissues and effective doses were determined for about 20 patients (totally 122 patients) for every one of six typical CT protocols of the head, neck, chest, abdomen-pelvis, pelvis and spine exams. In addition, the CT dosimetry index (CTDI) was measured in the standard 16 and 32 cm phantoms by using a calibrated pencil ionization chamber for the six protocols and by taking the average value of CT scan parameters used in the hospital compared with the CTDI values displayed on the console device of the machine.
Results: The values of the effective dose based on the ICRP 103 tissue weighting factor were: 0.6, 2.0, 3.2, 4.2, 2.8, and 3.9 mSv and based on the ICRP 60 tissue weighting factor were: 0.9, 1.4, 3, 7.9, 4.8 and 5.1 mSv for the head, neck, chest, abdomen-pelvis, pelvis, spine CT exams respectively. Relative differences between those values were -22, 21, 23, -6, -31 and 16 percent for the head, neck, chest, abdomen-pelvis, pelvis, spine CT exams, respectively. The average value of CTDIv calculated for each protocol was: 27.32 ± 0.9, 18.08 ± 2.0, 7.36 ± 2.6, 8.84 ± 1.7, 9.13 ± 1.5, 10.42 ± 0.8 mGy for the head, neck, chest, abdomen-pelvis and spine CT exams, respectively.
Conclusions: The highest organ doses delivered by various CT exams were received by brain (15.5 mSv), thyroid (19.00 mSv), lungs (9.3 mSv) and bladder (9.9 mSv), bladder (10.4 mSv), stomach (10.9 mSv) in the head, neck, chest, and the abdomen-pelvis, pelvis, and spine respectively. Except the neck and spine CT exams showing a higher effective dose compared to that reported in Netherlands, other exams indicated lower values compared to those reported by any other country.