(HealthDay News) – A second-generation 320-detector row computed tomography (CT) scanner reduces radiation exposure for patients undergoing coronary CT angiography, while still providing excellent diagnostic image quality, according to research published online Jan. 22 in Radiology.

Marcus Y. Chen, MD, of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues compared image quality and radiation exposure for 107 consecutive patients who underwent coronary CT angiography with a new, second-generation 320-detector row unit, and 100 consecutive patients who underwent imaging with a previous first-generation scanner.

The researchers found that, with the second-generation unit, the median radiation dose was 0.93mSv, compared with 2.67mSv with the first-generation unit. The median size-specific dose estimate was 6 vs. 13.2mGy with the second- and first-generation units, respectively. For 21.5% of patients scanned with the second-generation CT scanner the radiation dose was <0.5mSv; it was <1mSv for 54.2% and <4mSv for 96.3%. The quality of most images taken was excellent and all were of diagnostic quality. Three of four quality images were significantly better with the second-generation than the first-generation scanner.

“The new second-generation 320-detector row CT scanner provided excellent image quality over a wide range of body sizes and heart rates at lower radiation doses than the previous first-generation CT scanner,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Toshiba.

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