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The Correct Selection of Pitch and Rotation Time for Optimal CT Scanning : The Big Misconception

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F Ranallo

F Ranallo*, T Szczykutowicz , University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI


SU-E-I-60 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: To provide correct guidance in the proper selection of pitch and rotation time for optimal CT imaging with multi-slice scanners.

Methods: There exists a widespread misconception concerning the role of pitch in patient dose with modern multi-slice scanners, particularly with the use of mA modulation techniques. We investigated the relationship of pitch and rotation time to image quality, dose, and scan duration, with CT scanners from different manufacturers in a way that clarifies this misconception. This source of this misconception may concern the role of pitch in single slice CT scanners.

Results: We found that the image noise and dose are generally independent of the selected effective mAs (mA*time/ pitch) with manual mA technique settings and are generally independent of the selected pitch and /or rotation time with automatic mA modulation techniques. However we did find that on certain scanners the use of a pitch just above 0.5 provided images of equal image noise at a lower dose compared to the use of a pitch just below 1.0.

Conclusion: The misconception that the use of a lower pitch over-irradiates patients by wasting dose is clearly false. The use of a lower pitch provides images of equal or better image quality at the same patient dose, whether using manual mA or automatic mA modulation techniques. By decreasing the pitch and the rotation times by equal amounts, both helical and patient motion artifacts can be reduced without affecting the exam time. The use of lower helical pitch also allows better scanning of larger patients by allowing a greater scan effective mAs, if the exam time can be extended. The one caution with the use of low pitch is not related to patient dose, but to the length of the scan time if the rotation time is not set short enough.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Partial Research funding from GE HealthCare

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