A systematic procedure to optimise dose and image quality for the measurement of inter-vertebral angles from lateral spinal projections using Cobb and superimposition methods

02.Mar.2017

A systematic procedure to optimise dose and image quality for the measurement of inter-vertebral angles from lateral spinal projections using Cobb and superimposition methods.


BACKGROUND:

Patients with vertebral column deformations are exposed to high risks associated with ionising radiation exposure. Risks are further increased due to the serial X-ray images that are needed to measure and asses their spinal deformation using Cobb or superimposition methods. Therefore, optimising such X-ray practice, via reducing dose whilst maintaining image quality, is a necessity.

OBJECTIVES:

With a specific focus on lateral thoraco-lumbar images for Cobb and superimposition measurements, this paper outlines a systematic procedure to the optimisation of X-ray practice.

METHODS:

Optimisation was conducted based on suitable image quality from minimal dose. Image quality was appraised using a visual-analogue-rating-scale, and Monte-Carlo modelling was used for dose estimation. The optimised X-ray practice was identified by imaging healthy normal-weight male adult living human volunteers.

RESULTS:

The optimised practice consisted of: anode towards the head, broad focus, no OID or grid, 80 kVp, 32 mAs and 130 cm SID.

CONCLUSION:

Images of suitable quality for laterally assessing spinal conditions using Cobb or superimposition measurements were produced from an effective dose of 0.05 mSv, which is 83% less than the average effective dose used in the UK for lateral thoracic/lumbar exposures. This optimisation procedure can be adopted and use for optimisation of other radiographic techniques.​


School of Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Orthotics and Prosthetics

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