Title: Low-dose CT protocol for orthodontic diagnosis
Abstract: Aim This was to correlate the dosimetric evaluation with high diagnostic accuracy by suggesting a protocol that significantly reduces the dose administered by a Dentascan exam without affecting diagnostic accuracy. Materials and methods 17 patients were selected consecutively (7 males and 10 females) of a mean age of 11.2 (8-14 years) who sought orthodontic treatment. They needed CT control before and after treatment with RME to evaluate impacted canines. The study was performed using a multidetector 16-rows CT with two protocols that provided 2 different KV acquisition parameters: 80 KV or 120 KV. Radiation dose was evaluated in two ways: CTDI and DLP. Image quality was rated and the results were compared to identify significant differences in terms of image quality, radiation exposure and presence of artefacts. Results The 80 KV scanning has a significantly lower effective radiation dose compared to the 120 KV scanning (p< 0.05). The images of all patients were used for comparing the protocols in terms of image quality. The mean scores for the 80 KV scanning images were 4.18 +/- 0.81 and 4.41 +/- 0.80 for dose obtained by 120 KV scanning. The median image quality was 4 (good) for both protocols. The 80 KV protocol allowed, as well as the 120 KV, a careful analysis by the orthodontist and the dental surgeon that together, based on this images, can choose the best line of treatment between several available options. Conclusion 80 KV protocols compared with 120 KV protocols resulted in reduced total radiation dose without relevant loss of diagnostic image information and quality. The images were good enough to obtain information about the exact position of impacted teeth and to plan the best line of surgical treatment and mechanotherapy strategy.