A closer look at the utilized radiation doses during computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) for COVID-19 patients

CTPA stands for computed tomography pulmonary angiography. CTPA is an X-ray imaging that combines X-rays and computer technology to create detailed images of the pulmonary arteries and veins in the lungs. This test diagnoses and monitors conditions like pulmonary embolism, arterial blockages, and hypertension. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has threatened world health over the last three years. The number of (CT) scans increased and played a vital role in diagnosing COVID-19 patients, including life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE). This study aimed to assess the radiation dose resulted from CTPA for COVID-19 patients. Data were collected retrospectively from CTPA examinations on a single scanner in 84 symptomatic patients. The data collected included the dose length product (DLP), volumetric computed tomography dose index (CTDIvol), and size-specific dose estimate (SSDE). The organ dose and effective dose were estimated using VirtualDose software. The study population included 84 patients, 52% male and 48% female, with an average age of 62. The average DLP, CTDIvol, and SSDE were 404.2 mGy cm, 13.5 mGy, and 11.6 mGy\, respectively. The mean effective doses (mSv) for males and females were 3.01 and 3.29, respectively. The maximum to minimum organ doses (mGy) between patients was 0.8 for the male bladder and 7.33 for the female lung. The increase in CT scans during the COVID-19 pandemic required close dose monitoring and optimization. The protocol used during CTPA should guarantee a minimum radiation dose with maximum patient benefits.

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