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Diagnostic reference levels for computed tomography examinations in pediatric population - A systematic review


1 Department of Medical Imaging Technology, Manipal College of Health Professions, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, Kasturba Medical College and Hospital, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajagopal Kadavigere,
Department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, Kasturba Medical College and Hospital, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal - 576 104, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_945_20

Computed tomography (CT) has vital role in diagnosis of various pathologies using cross sectional images. Besides the advantages of CT in pediatric radiology, radiation dose has a significant adverse effect as children are more vulnerable than adults. Establishing Diagnostic Reference levels (DRLs) will determine unusual increase in radiation doses and therefore helps in optimizing the radiation dose by maintaining optimum diagnostic image quality. The objective of the review is to explore the literature on DRLs in pediatric CT examinations and techniques that have been used to establish them. Detailed search was done in PubMed-Medline, Scopus CINAHL, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library databases to find studies that have established DRLs for pediatric CT examinations. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses methodology was used to assess the relevant articles. The articles which assessed DRLs in pediatric CT examinations were included. A total of 501 articles were identified, of which 21 articles were included after a detailed screening process. Our review showed increased in pediatric patient dose surveys across the world and also increased in awareness for establishing DRLS among pediatric CT examinations. The review also demonstrated wide variation in DRLs and also deviation in the scanning techniques, protocols used and categorization methods used for establishing DRLs. As the pediatric population is more sensitive to radiation, the current review emphasizes the need for optimization of protocols and international standardization for establishing DRLs to facilitate a more feasible way of comparison of dose globally across CT sites.


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