Chest radiography is one of the most frequent x-ray examinations performed on children. Reducing the delivered dose is always a major task. The objective of our study was to determine the minimum dose to be delivered while maintaining the image quality of chest radiographs, using dose reduction simulation software.
Materials and Methods:
We included 60 children who had had a chest radiography in 5 groups established according to the diagnostic reference levels equitably represented by weight ranges. The software simulated for each radiograph 6 additional simulated photonic noise images corresponding to 100%, 80%, 64%, 50%, 40%, and 32% of the initial dose. The 360 radiographs were blindly scored by 2 radiologists, according to the 7 European quality criteria and a subjective criterion of interpretability, using a semiquantitative visual Lickert scale.
There was no significant difference in scoring between the reference radiograph (100%) and simulated radiographs at 80% of the dose in children between 5 and 20 kg, 50% of the dose in children between 20 and 30 kg, and between simulated radiographs at 40% of the dose in children over 30 kg. Interobserver reproducibility was moderate to excellent.
Chest radiography dose might be reduced by 20% in children between 5 and 20 kg, 50% in children between 20 and 30 kg, and 60% in children over 30 kg, without any difference in the image quality appreciation. Software that produced simulated x-ray with decreasing delivered dose is an innovating tool for an optimization process.