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Br J Radiol. 2010 Feb;83(986):152-8. doi: 10.1259/bjr/29879495.

Radiation dose and cancer risk in retrospectively and prospectively ECG-gated coronary angiography using 64-slice multidetector CT.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


This study aimed to estimate the radiation dose and cancer risk to adults in England, the USA and Hong Kong associated with retrospectively and prospectively electrocardiogram (ECG)-gated coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) using currently practised protocols in Hong Kong. The doses were simulated using the ImPACT spreadsheet. For retrospectively ECG-gated CTA with pitches of 0.2, 0.22 and 0.24, the effective doses were 27.7, 23.6 and 20.7 mSv, respectively, for males and 23.6, 20.0 and 18.8 mSv, respectively, for females. For prospectively ECG-gated CTA, the effective dose was 3.7 mSv for both males and females. A table of lifetime attributable risks (LAR) of cancer incidence was set up for the English population for the purpose of estimating cancer risk induced by low-dose radiation exposure, as previously reported for US and Hong Kong populations. From the tables, the LAR of cancer incidence for a representative 50-year-old subject was calculated for retrospectively ECG-gated CTA to be 0.112% and 0.227% for English males and females, respectively, 0.103% and 0.228% for US males and females, respectively, and was comparatively higher at 0.137% and 0.370% for Hong Kong males and females, respectively; for prospectively ECG-gated CTA, the corresponding values were calculated to be 0.014% and 0.035% for English males and females, respectively, and 0.013% and 0.036% for US males and females, respectively, and again were higher at 0.017% and 0.060% for Hong Kong males and females, respectively. Our study shows that prospectively ECG-gated CTA reduces radiation dose and cancer risks by up to 87% compared with retrospectively ECG-gated CTA.

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