Opportunities to reduce CT radiation exposure, experience over 5 years at the NIH clinical center

William C. Kovacs, Jianhua Yao, David A. Bluemke, Les R. Folio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our current study was undertaken in order to compare CT exposures during various dose-reduction initiatives at the National Institutes of Health Clinical center, to show trends in exposure reduction over a 5-y period, and to provide benchmarks that other facilities may use. Using an in-house extraction tool (Radiation Exposure Extraction Engine), we derived CT exposure data from Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) headers over 5 y. We present parameters used and compare most common exams between 2010 and 2015. During a period of exposure-reduction initiatives, data of 79 396 exams from nine CT scanners on 87 scan protocols were analyzed. Adult chest exposures were reduced 53% and chest, abdomen and pelvis exams were reduced 43% (p < 0.001). Only extremity exams did not show significantly reduced exposure. Collecting data over several years allowed us to confirm and compare several initiatives.We demonstrated significant exposure reductions during continued reduction efforts on common exams. Our results may provide benchmarks for similar centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-492
Number of pages11
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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