Comparison of tin filter–based spectral shaping CT and low-dose protocol for detection of urinary calculi

Amirhossein Mozaffary, Tugce Agirlar Trabzonlu, Donald Kim, Vahid Yaghmai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to assess the performance of tin filter–based spectral shaping CT compared with routine low-dose CT for detection of urolithiasis. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Unenhanced third-generation dual-source CT scans of 129 consecutively registered patients were retrospectively reviewed: 43 patients underwent CT for detection of renal stones with tin filtration (Sn150 kV); 43 patients underwent a routine low-dose CT protocol at 100 kV; and 43 patients underwent a routine CT protocol with automated tube potential selection (110–120 kV). Image quality was evaluated subjectively and objectively. Volume CT dose index (CTDI vol ) and size-specific dose estimate (SSDE) were recorded. To prospectively compare the performances of the spectral shaping protocol (Sn150 kV) with the standard (120 kV) and routine low-dose (100 kV) protocols, a phantom (sheep kidneys) containing stones were also scanned with each protocol and evaluated by two radiologists. RESULTS. CT with tin filtration resulted in 28% and 66% reduction in CTDI vol compared with CT performed with routine low-dose and standard-dose protocols (p < 0.05). Accordingly, it also led to 24% and 55% reduction in SSDE compared with the low-dose and standard protocols (p < 0.05). Subjective image quality and signal-to-noise ratio were similar between the tin filtration and the routine low-dose groups (p > 0.05). The objective image noise was similar in the three groups (p > 0.05). The phantom study showed no difference in detection of renal stones between the three tube potential settings. CONCLUSION. Using spectral shaping with tin filtration can substantially reduce radiation dose compared with routine standard- and low-dose abdominal CT for urinary stone disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)808-814
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • CT
  • Dose reduction
  • Image quality
  • Kidney stone
  • Spectral shielding
  • Tin filtration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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