Objectives: The objective of the study was to determine the lowest multidetector-row computed tomographic radiation dose parameters for the detection of pneumothorax after thoracic intervention.
Materials and Methods: An anthropomorphic chest phantom containing pneumothoraces was imaged with different tube voltages (80, 100, and 120 kV[p]) and tube currents (10, 20, 40, 75, and 110 mAs). The images were reconstructed with both filtered back projection (FBP) and iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms. Two blinded radiologists scored images independently for the presence or absence of pneumothorax. Effective dose, image noise, contrast-to-noise ratio, and signal-to-noise ratio were recorded.
Results: At radiation dose below 0.48 mSv, sensitivity for the detection of pneumothorax decreased in both reconstruction algorithms (80% for FBP vs 83% for IR; P > 0.05). Interobserver agreement was good (k = 0.78). The IR data sets showed lower image noise as well as higher signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio when compared with FBP on all acquisition parameters (P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Very low computed tomographic dose parameters may be suitable for confident detection of small pneumothoraces after intervention.