Computed tomographic coronary artery calcium scanning enables cardiovascular risk stratification; however, exposing patients to high radiation levels is an ongoing concern. New-generation computed tomographic systems use lower radiation doses than older systems do. To quantify comparative doses of radiation exposure, we prospectively acquired images from 220 patients with use of a 64-slice GE LightSpeed VCT scanner (control group, n=110) and a 256-slice GE Revolution scanner (study group, n=110). The groups were matched for age, sex, and body mass index; statistical analysis included t tests and linear regression. The mean dose-length product was 21% lower in the study group than in the control group (60.2 ± 27 vs 75.9 ± 22.6 mGy·cm; P <0.001) and also in each body mass index subgroup. Similarly, the mean effective radiation dose was 21% lower in the study group (0.84 ± 0.38 vs 1.06 ± 0.32 mSv) and lower in each weight subgroup. After adjustment for sex, women in the study group had a lower dose-length product (50.4 ± 23.4 vs 64.7 ± 27.6 mGy·cm) than men did and received a lower effective dose (0.7 ± 0.32 vs 0.9 ± 0.38 mSv) (P=0.009). As body mass index and waist circumference increased, so did doses for both scanners. Our study group was exposed to radiation doses lower than the previously determined standard of 1 mSv, even after adjustment for body mass index and waist circumference. In 256-slice scanning for coronary artery calcium, radiation doses are now similar to those in lung cancer screening and mammography.
Reference: Radiation Doses in Patients Undergoing Computed Tomographic Coronary Artery Calcium Evaluation With a 64-Slice Scanner Versus a 256-Slice Scanner. Madaj P, Li D, Nakanishi R, Andreini D, Pontone G, Conte E, O'Rourke R, Hamilton-Craig C, Nimmagadda M, Kim N, Fatima B, Dailing C, Shaikh K, Shekar C, Lee JH, Budoff MJ. Tex Heart Inst J. 2022 Mar 1;49(2):e186793