Physics in Medicine and Biology vol:59 issue:14 pages:3877-91
The aim of this study was to measure entrance skin doses on patients undergoing cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) examinations, to establish conversion factors between skin and organ doses, and to estimate cancer risk from CBCT exposures. 266 patients (age 8-83) were included, involving three imaging centres. CBCT scans were acquired using the SCANORA 3D (Soredex, Tuusula, Finland) and NewTom 9000 (QR, Verona, Italy). Eight thermoluminescent dosimeters were attached to the patient's skin at standardized locations. Using previously published organ dose estimations on various CBCTs with an anthropomorphic phantom, correlation factors to convert skin dose to organ doses were calculated and applied to estimate patient organ doses. The BEIR VII age- and gender-dependent dose-risk model was applied to estimate the lifetime attributable cancer risk. For the SCANORA 3D, average skin doses over the eight locations varied between 484 and 1788 µGy. For the NewTom 9000 the range was between 821 and 1686 µGy for Centre 1 and between 292 and 2325 µGy for Centre 2. Entrance skin dose measurements demonstrated the combined effect of exposure and patient factors on the dose. The lifetime attributable cancer risk, expressed as the probability to develop a radiation-induced cancer, varied between 2.7 per million (age >60) and 9.8 per million (age 8-11) with an average of 6.0 per million. On average, the risk for female patients was 40% higher. The estimated radiation risk was primarily influenced by the age at exposure and the gender, pointing out the continuing need for justification and optimization of CBCT exposures, with a specific focus on children.