This study aimed to compare the dose and noise level of four tube voltages in abdominal computerized tomography (CT) examinations in different abdominal circumference sizes of pregnant women. Fetal radiation doses were measured with two anthropomorphic pregnant phantoms and real-time dosimeters of photoluminescence sensors using four tube voltages for abdominal CT. The noise level was measured at the abdomen of two anthropomorphic pregnant phantoms. In the large pregnant phantom, the mean fetal doses performed using 120 and 135 kV were statistically significantly lower than the lower tube voltages (P < 0.05). In the small pregnant phantom, the mean fetal dose performed by 100, 120, and 135 kV was significantly lower than the lowest tube voltage tested (P < 0.05). The ratios of the peripheral mean dose to the centric mean dose showed that the ratios of 80 kV were the highest and those for 135 kV were the lowest in both pregnant phantoms. The ratios of the peripheral mean dose to the centric mean dose decreased as the tube voltage increased. Compared with low tube voltages, high tube voltages such as 120 and 135 kV could reduce radiation doses to the fetus without compromising the image uniformity in abdominal CT examinations during pregnancy. On low tube voltage protocols, the dose near the maternal skin surface may be increased in large pregnant women because of reduced penetration of the x rays.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging