Ultra-low-dose CBCT scan: rational map for ear surgery

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    Purpose: This study will evaluate the clinical quality and usability of peripheral image data from the temporal bone area obtained using a sinonasal ultra-low-dose (ULD) cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan and compare them to those obtained using a high-resolution (HR) CBCT. Methods: The population consisted of 66 anatomical sites (ears of 33 subjects) imaged using two modalities: an HR CBCT (Scanora 3Dx scanner; Soredex, Tuusula, Finland) and a ULD CBCT (Promax 3D Mid scanner; Plandent, Helsinki, Finland). The image quality (IQ) for every anatomical site in each image was rated using a Likert scale from 0 to 5. Results: The quality of ULD CBCT scans was clinically sufficient in over 95% of the assessed images of the sigmoid sinus, jugular bulb, epitympanum and mastoid antrum as well as external acoustic meatus (all p > 0.05 compared to HR CBCT). The IQ was clinically sufficient in 75–94% of the assessed images of the scutum, mastoid segment of the facial nerve, cochlea and semicircular canals (all p < 0.05 compared to HR CBCT). The overall IQ of the HR CBCT scans was good or excellent. Conclusion: CBCT imaging and the data at image margins are underutilized. CBCT can produce excellent structural resolution with conventional imaging parameters, even with off-focus images. Using ultra-low doses of radiation, the produced IQ is clinically sufficient. We encourage ear surgeons to check the patients’ imaging history and to consider the use of imaging modalities that involve lower radiation doses especially when conducting repetitive investigations and with children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1161–1168
    JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
    Issue number3
    Early online date2022
    Publication statusPublished - 2023
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Cone beam computed tomography
    • Ear surgery
    • Image quality
    • Temporal bone
    • Ultra-low-dose protocol

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Otorhinolaryngology


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