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Radiology. 1992 Jul;184(1):135-40.

Average radiation dose in standard CT examinations of the head: results of the 1990 NEXT survey.

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD 20857.


In 1990, as part of the Nationwide Evaluation of X-ray Trends (NEXT) program, 252 computed tomographic (CT) systems were evaluated to measure radiation doses associated with standard head CT in adults. The multiple-scan average dose (MSAD) was used as the dose descriptor. For most of the systems, the MSAD at the midpoint on the central axis of a standard dosimetry phantom was between 34 and 55 mGy. Doses were as high as 140 mGy, and dose sometimes varied by a factor of two or more for identical CT units. This range indicates that dose can potentially be reduced by careful selection of standard CT techniques. Users of CT systems should be aware of radiation dose delivered with CT, dose ranges associated with different systems, and doses delivered with their particular unit, which requires that dose performance of CT systems be assessed by means of a protocol that allows comparison of data collected for identical and/or different units.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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