Optimising image quality and radiation dose for neonatal incubator imaging

Tugwell-Allsup, J, Morris, R, Gibbs, R and England, A ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6333-7776 2020, 'Optimising image quality and radiation dose for neonatal incubator imaging' , Radiography, 26 (4) , e258-e263.

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Introduction Neonates often require imaging within incubators however limited evidence exists as to the optimal method and acquisition parameters to achieve these examinations. This study aims to standardise and optimise neonatal chest radiography within incubators. Methods A neonatal anthropomorphic phantom was imaged on two different incubators under controlled conditions using a DR system. Exposure factors, SID and placement of image receptor (direct v tray) were explored whilst keeping all other parameters consistent. Image quality was evaluated using absolute visual grading analysis (VGA) with contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) also calculated for comparison. Effective dose was established using Monte Carlo simulation using entrance surface dose within its calculations. Results VGA and CNR reduced significantly (p < 0.05) whilst effective dose increased significantly (p < 0.05) for images acquired using the incubator tray. The optimal combinations of parameters for incubator imaging were: image receptor directly behind neonate, 0.5 mAs, 60 kV at 100 cm SID, however, if tray needs to be used then these need to be adapted to: 1 mAs at maximum achievable SID. Effective dose was highest for images acquired using both incubator tray and 100 cm SID owing to a decrease in focus to skin distance. There is significant increase (p < 0.01) in VGA between using 0.5 mAs and 1 mAs but an apparent lack of increase between 1 and 1.5 mAs. Conclusion Using the incubator tray has an adverse effect on both image quality and radiation dose for incubator imaging. Direct exposure is optimal for this type of examination but if tray needs to be used, both mAs and SID need to be increased slightly to compensate. Implications for practice This study can help inform practice in order to both standardise and optimise chest imaging for neonates in incubators.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Radiography
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1078-8174
Related URLs:
Funders: College of Radiographers Industry Partnership Scheme (CoRIPS)
Depositing User: Dr Andrew England
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2020 11:52
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 04:32
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/56934

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