A review of patient doses from CT examinations in the UK for 2003 has been conducted on the basis of data received from over a quarter of all UK scanners, of which 37% had multislice capability. Questionnaires were employed to collect scan details both for the standard protocols established at each scanner for 12 common types of CT examination on adults and children, and for samples of individual patients. This information was combined with published scanner-specific CT dose index (CTDI) coefficients to estimate values of the standard dose indices CTDIw and CTDIvol for each scan sequence. Knowledge of each scan length allowed assessment of the dose-length product (DLP) for each examination, from which effective doses were then estimated. When compared with a previous UK survey for 1991, wide variations were still apparent between CT centres in the doses for standard protocols. The mean UK doses for adult patients were in general lower by up to 50% than those for 1991, although doses were slightly higher for multislice (4+) (MSCT) relative to single slice (SSCT) scanners. Values of CTDIvol for MSCT were broadly similar to European survey data for 2001. The third quartile values of these dose distributions have been used to derive UK national reference doses for examinations on adults (separately for SSCT and MSCT) and children as initial tools for promoting patient protection. The survey has established the PREDICT (Patient Radiation Exposure and Dose in CT) database as a sustainable national resource for monitoring dose trends in CT through the ongoing collation of further survey data.
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