10 kVp rule - an anthropomorphic pelvis phantom imaging study using a CR system : impact on image quality and effective dose using AEC and manual mode

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Lanca, L ; Franco, L ; Ahmed, A ; Hogg, P

Purpose: This study aims to investigate the influence of tube potential (kVp) variation in relation to perceptual image quality and effective dose for pelvis using automatic exposure control (AEC) and non-AEC in a Computed Radiography (CR) system.\ud Methods and Materials: To determine the effects of using AEC and non-AEC by applying the 10 kVp rule in two experiments using an anthropomorphic pelvis phantom. Images were acquired using 10kVp increments (60-120kVp) for both experiments. The first experiment, based on seven AEC combinations, produced 49 images. The mean mAs from each kVp increment were used as a baseline for the second experiment producing 35 images. A total of 84 images were produced and a panel of 5 experienced observers participated for the image scoring using the 2AFC visual grading software. PCXMC software was used to estimate the effective dose.\ud Results: A decrease in perceptual image quality as the kVp increases was observed both in non-AEC and AEC experiments, however no significant statistical differences (p>0.05) were found. Image quality scores from all observers at 10 kVp increments for all mAs values using non-AEC mode demonstrates a better score up to 90kVp. Effective dose results show a statistical significant decrease (p=0.000) on the 75th quartile from 0.3 mSv at 60 kVp to 0.1 mSv at 120kVp when applying the 10 kVp rule in non-AEC mode.\ud Conclusion(s): No significant reduction in perceptual image quality is observed when increasing kVp whilst a marked and significant effective dose reduction is observed.
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