Objective Different technical and procedural methods have been introduced to develop low radiation dose protocols in neurointerventional examinations. We investigated the feasibility of minimizing radiation exposure dose by simply decreasing the detector dose during cerebral DSA and evaluated the comparative level of image quality using both subjective and objective methods.
Methods In a prospective study of patients undergoing diagnostic cerebral DSA, randomly selected vertebral arteries (VA) and/or internal carotid arteries and their contralateral equivalent arteries were injected. Detector dose of 3.6 and 1.2 μGy/frame were selected to acquire standard dose (SD) and low dose (LD) images, respectively. Subjective image quality assessment was performed by two neurointerventionalists using a 5 point scale. For objective image quality evaluation, circle of Willis vessels were categorized into conducting, primary, secondary, and side branch vessels. Two blinded observers performed arterial diameter measurements in each category. Only image series obtained from VA injections opacifying the identical posterior intracranial circulation were utilized for objective assessment.
Results No significant difference between SD and LD images was observed in subjective and objective image quality assessment in 22 image series obtained from 10 patients. Mean reference air kerma and kerma area product were significantly reduced by 61.28% and 61.24% in the LD protocol, respectively.
Conclusions Our study highlights the necessity for reconsidering radiation dose protocols in neurointerventional procedures, especially at the level of baseline factory settings.
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