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J Endod. 2013 Mar;39(3):394-7. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2012.11.017. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

An in vitro comparison of the accuracy of measurements obtained from high- and low-resolution cone-beam computed tomography scans.

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Unit of Conservative Dentistry, King's College London, Dental Institute at Guy's Hospital, King's Health Partners, London, United Kingdom.



This study aimed to investigate in an ex vivo model the reduction in patient radiation dose while maintaining accurate linear measurements by comparing cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans taken at 360° versus 180° rotation, with porcine jaw specimens as a reference standard.


CBCT scans of 12 sectioned porcine hemimandibles at 360° and 180° rotations were taken with standardized clinical exposure parameters. To assess interobserver variability, 6 assessors who were blinded to the degree of rotation took linear measurements of anatomic structures on each scan. The measurements were repeated after 2 weeks to assess intraobserver variability. Accuracy of measurement was judged against the corresponding measurements taken from the porcine jaw specimens.


Intraclass correlations signaled good-to-excellent intraobserver and interobserver agreement (0.65-0.98 and 0.79-0.98), respectively. Mixed regression analysis found no significant difference between the measurements from 180° or 360° rotations and no difference between the 2 rotations and porcine jaw specimens.


A CBCT image sufficient to make accurate clinical measurements with a reduced radiation exposure may be obtained by using 180° rotation of the CBCT tube head.

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