Organ-effective modulation (OEM) is a computed tomography scanning technique that reduces the exposure dose to organs at risk. Ultrasonography is commonly used for prenatal imaging, but its reliability is reported to be limited. Radiography and computed tomography (CT) are reliable but pose risk of radiation exposure to the pregnant woman and her fetus. Although there are many reports on the exposure dose associated with fetal CT scans, no reports exist on OEM use in fetal CT scans. We measured the basic characteristics of organ-effective modulation (X-ray output modulation angle, maximum X-ray output modulation rate, total X-ray output modulation rate, and noise modulation) and used them in a Monte Carlo simulation to evaluate the effect of this technique on fetal CT scans in terms of image quality and exposure dose to the pregnant woman and fetus. Using ImPACT MC software, Monte Carlo simulations of OEMON and OEMOFF were run on 8 cases involving fetal CT scans. We confirmed that the organ-effective modulation X-ray output modulation angle was 160°; the X-ray output modulation rate increased with increasing tube current; and no modulation occurred at tube currents of 80 mA or below. Our findings suggest that OEM has only a minimal effect in reducing organ exposure in pregnant women; therefore, it should be used on the anterior side (OEMON,front) to reduce the exposure dose to the fetus.
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