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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 130169, 6 pages
Research Article

Effect of Low Tube Voltage on Image Quality, Radiation Dose, and Low-Contrast Detectability at Abdominal Multidetector CT: Phantom Study

1Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical College, Zhejiang, Wenzhou 325000, China
2Department of Nuclear Medicine, Wenzhou Medical College, Zhejiang, Wenzhou 325000, China

Received 5 January 2012; Revised 19 February 2012; Accepted 24 February 2012

Academic Editor: Lie-Hang Shen

Copyright © 2012 Kun Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To investigate the effect of low tube voltage (80 kV) on image quality, radiation dose, and low-contrast detectability (LCD) at abdominal computed tomography (CT). Materials and Methods. A phantom containing low-contrast objects was scanned with a CT scanner at 80 and 120 kV, with tube current-time product settings at 150–650 mAs. The differences between image noise, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and scores of LCD obtained with 80 kV at 150–650 mAs and those obtained with 120 kV at 300 mAs were compared respectively. Results. The image noise substantially increased with low tube voltage. However, with identical dose, use of 80 kV resulted in higher CNR compared with CNR at 120 kV. There were no statistically significant difference in CNR and scores of LCD between 120 kV at 300 mAs and 80 kV at 550–650 mAs ( 𝑃 > 0 . 0 5 ). The relative dose delivered at 80 kV ranged from 58% at 550 mAs to 68% at 650 mAs. Conclusion. With a reduction of the tube voltage from 120 kV to 80 kV at abdominal CT, the radiation dose can be reduced by 32% to 42% without degradation of CNR and LCD.