ALADA Dose Optimization in the Computed Tomography of the Temporal Bone: The Diagnostic Potential of Different Low-Dose CT Protocols
Objective: Repeated computed tomography (CT) is essential for diagnosis, surgical planning and follow-up in patients with middle and inner ear pathology. Dose reduction to "as low as diagnostically acceptable" (ALADA) is preferable but challenging. We aimed to compare the diagnostic quality of images of subtle temporal bone structures produced with low doses (LD) and reference protocols (RP). Methods: Two formalin-fixed human cadaver heads were scanned using a 64-slice CT scanner and cone-beam
... T (CBCT). The protocols were: RP (120 kV, 250 mA, CTDIvol 83.72 mGy), LD1 (100 kV, 80 mA, CTDIvol 26.79 mGy), LD2 (100 kV, 35 mA, CTDIvol 7.66 mGy), LD3 (80 kV, 40 mA, CTDIvol 4.82 mGy), and CBCT standard protocol. Temporal bone structures were assessed using a 5-point scale. Results: A median score of ≥2 was achieved with protocols such as the tendons of m. tensor tympani (RP/LD1/LD2/CBCT) and m. stapedius (CBCT), the incudostapedial joint (RP/LD1/CBCT), the incudomalleolar joint (RP/LD1/LD2/CBCT), the stapes feet (RP/LD1/CBCT), the stapes head (RP/LD1/LD2/CBCT), the tympanic membrane (RP/LD1/LD2/CBCT), the lamina spiralis ossea (none), the chorda tympani (RP/LD1/CBCT), and the modiolus (RP/LD1/LD2/CBCT). Adaptive statistical iterative reconstructions did not show advantages over the filtered back projection. Conclusions: LD protocols using a CTDIvol of 7.66 mGy may be sufficient for the identification of temporal bone structures.