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Eur J Radiol. 2009 Sep;71(3):461-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.06.002. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

Comparison between effective radiation dose of CBCT and MSCT scanners for dentomaxillofacial applications.

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Oral Imaging Centre, School of Dentistry, Oral Pathology and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 7, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.



To compare the effective dose levels of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for maxillofacial applications with those of multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT).


The effective doses of 3 CBCT scanners were estimated (Accuitomo 3D, i-CAT, and NewTom 3G) and compared to the dose levels for corresponding image acquisition protocols for 3 MSCT scanners (Somatom VolumeZoom 4, Somatom Sensation 16 and Mx8000 IDT). The effective dose was calculated using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs), placed in a Rando Alderson phantom, and expressed according to the ICRP 103 (2007) guidelines (including a separate tissue weighting factor for the salivary glands, as opposed to former ICRP guidelines).


Effective dose values ranged from 13 to 82 microSv for CBCT and from 474 to 1160 microSv for MSCT. CBCT dose levels were the lowest for the Accuitomo 3D, and highest for the i-CAT.


Dose levels for CBCT imaging remained far below those of clinical MSCT protocols, even when a mandibular protocol was applied for the latter, resulting in a smaller field of view compared to various CBCT protocols. Considering this wide dose span, it is of outmost importance to justify the selection of each of the aforementioned techniques, and to optimise the radiation dose while achieving a sufficient image quality. When comparing these results to previous dosimetric studies, a conversion needs to be made using the latest ICRP recommendations.

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