AIM: To assess whether low voltage chest computed tomography (CT) can be used to successfully diagnose disease in patients with asbestos exposure.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-six former employees of the shipbuilding industry, who were candidates to receive a standard-dose chest CT due to their occupational exposure to asbestos, underwent a routine CT. Immediately after this initial CT, they underwent a second acquisition using low-dose chest CT parameters, based on a low potential (80 kV) and limited tube current. The findings of the two CT protocols were compared based on typical diseases associated with asbestos exposure. The kappa coefficient for each parameter and for an overall rating (grouping them based on mediastinal, pleural, and pulmonary findings) were calculated in order to test for correlations between the two protocols.
RESULTS: A good correlation between routine and low-dose CT was demonstrated for most parameters with a mean radiation dose reduction of up to 83% of the effective dose based on the doseelength product between protocols.
CONCLUSIONS: Low-dose chest CT, based on a limited tube potential, is useful for patients with an asbestos exposure background. Low-dose chest CT can be successfully used to minimise the radiation dose received by patients, as this protocol produced an estimated mean effective dose similar to that of an abdominal or pelvis plain film. (C) 2017 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.