Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
SPIE Proceedings: Medical Imaging: Physics of Medical Imaging
Original Item ID
Studies suggest that dose to the breast leads to a higher lifetime attributable cancer incidence risk from a chest CT scan for women compared to men. Numerous methods have been proposed for reducing dose to the breast during CT scanning, including bismuth shielding, tube current modulation, partial-angular scanning, and reduced kVp. These methods differ in how they alter the spectrum and fluence across projection angle. This study used Monte Carlo CT simulations of a voxelized female phantom to investigate the energy (dose) deposition in the breast as a function of both photon energy and projection angle. The resulting dose deposition matrix was then used to investigate several questions regarding dose reduction to the breast: (1) Which photon energies deposit the most dose in the breast, (2) How does increased filtration compare to tube current reduction in reducing breast dose, and (3) Do reduced kVp scans reduce dose to breast, and if so, by what mechanism? The results demonstrate that while high-energy photons deposit more dose per emitted photon, the low-energy photons deposit more dose to the breast for a 120 kVp acquisition. The results also demonstrate that decreasing the tube current for the AP views to match the fluence exiting a shield deposits nearly the same dose to the breast as when using a shield (within ~1%). Finally, results suggest that the dose reduction observed during lower kVp scans is caused by reduced photon fluence rather than the elimination of high-energy photons from the beam. Overall, understanding the mechanisms of dose deposition in the breast as a function of photon energy and projection angle enables comparisons of dose reduction methods and facilitates further development of optimized dose reduction schemes.