Adoption of Radiation Protection Shielding During Head Computed Tomography Imaging to Reduce External Radiation Exposure
Objective: This study aimed to compare the degree of external radiation exposure experienced by the thyroid and mammary glands based on the presence or absence of a radiation protection shield (RPS) during head computed tomography (CT) imaging. Methods: We performed an axial head scan using a tissue-equivalent phantom via a 64-detector-row CT scanner. We measured external radiation exposure with and without the RPS at the assumed locations of the thyroid and mammary glands and calculated the mean value by using a calibrated a real-time skin dosimeter. Subsequently, we compared the standard deviation values at the basal ganglia level in the head CT images according to the presence or absence of the RPS. Results: The levels of external radiation exposure with and without the RPS were 2.42 and 3.61 mGy at the thyroid gland and 0.10 and 0.71 mGy at the mammary glands, respectively. These differences were statistically significant (p < 0.01). The RPS facilitated reductions of 32.9% and 86.6% in the mean external radiation exposure at the thyroid and mammary glands, respectively. The standard deviation values of the head CT images at the basal ganglia level were 2.55 ± 0.14 HU and 2.52 ± 0.13 HU with and without the RPS, respectively. Thus, no significant differences in the standard deviation values were observed between measurements with and without the RPS. Conclusion: The inclusion of an RPS proves effective in reducing external radiation exposure levels during head CT imaging.