Computer tomography plays a major role in the evaluation of thoracic diseases, especially since the advent of the multidetector-row CT (MDCT) technology. However, the increase use of this technique has raised some concerns about the resulting radiation dose. In this review, we will present the various methods allowing limiting the radiation dose exposure resulting from chest CT acquisitions, including the options of image filtering and iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms. The clinical applications of reduced dose protocols will be reviewed, especially for lung nodule detection and diagnosis of pulmonary thromboembolism. The performance of reduced dose protocols for infiltrative lung disease assessment will also be discussed. Lastly, the influence of using IR algorithms on computer-aided detection and volumetry of lung nodules, as well as on quantitative and functional assessment of chest diseases will be presented and discussed.
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