Reduced computed tomography radiation dose in HIV-related pneumonia: effect on diagnostic image quality

Elisa Busi Rizzi, Vincenzo Schininà, Francesco Paolo Gentile, Corrado Bibbolino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The objective of this study was to compare the diagnostic quality of low-dose computed tomography (CT) with that of standard-dose chest CT in the diagnosis of infectious lung diseases. Materials and methods: Thirty chest CT scans [high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT), 15; spiral CT, 15] were performed in HIV-positive patients with an infectious lung disease. Two additional slices were obtained at two lower exposures (HRCT, 120 kV/70 mAs and 120 kV/50 mAs; spiral CT, 100 kV/56 mAs and 100 kV/40 mAs) after chest routine CT. Observers compared the quality of the images obtained at different parameters and image noise. Objective evaluation of image noise was also made. Results: Diagnostic image quality was excellent in 93% of the low-dose HRCT scans and in 86% of the low-dose spiral CT scans, rates that are always acceptable in any case. Significant differences were found in noise levels between the low-dose and reference scans; however, artifacts did not compromise detection of abnormalities. In HRCT, a mean reduction of 77% from the standard technique to the low-dose scan is possible in total and in lung effective doses. In spiral CT, this reduction is lower at 71%. These values can reach a further reduction with ultra-low-dose imaging (84% in HRCT and 80% in spiral CT). Conclusions: Chest CT image quality appears to be adequate to evaluate pulmonary infectious diseases, even with an effective reduction in radiation dose. Standard-dose CT with a higher patient effective dose may be appropriate for selected cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • CT lung
  • CT radiation dose
  • Diagnostic image quality
  • HIV-related pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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