Automatic tube current modulation for volume scan in a 320-detector row CT scanner

Y. L. Liao, N. K. Lai, Y. S. Tyan, K. S. Chuang, H. Y. Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

5 Scopus citations


The x-y plane combined with z-axis automatic tube current modulation (ATCM) technique is one of the most comprehensive approaches to CT dose reduction because the radiation dose is adjusted according to patient attenuation in three dimensions. The 320-detector row CT scanner has the widest scan range (16 cm) within one axial rotation and equips with volume scan ATCM (VS-ATCM) mode. Special attention is needed while utilizing VS-ATCM mode in CT acquisitions especially scanning different anatomical regions, such as neck and shoulder in a single volume. However, the mechanism of VS-ATCM of the 320-detector row CT scanner remains unclear. This study aims to evaluate the performance of VS-ATCM mode in a 320-detector row CT scanner. A phantom set consists of three simple-shaped phantoms was scanned with the VS-ATCM mode. A solid-state detector was inserted into the central position of the phantom set to measure the real-time dose profiles at seven positions within five scan volumes. The effective tube-current time product of each slice was recorded. The standard deviation of the CT numbers measured at each image slice was used as a noise measurement. The performance of helical scan ATCM (HS-ATCM) mode was in comparison of VS-ATCM mode. The results indicated that VS-ATCM mode can provide a less dose CT scanning to a patient but resulted in a higher image noise in comparison with those of HS-ATCM mode. In clinical practice, radiologists or radiological technologists should pay more attention on the volume position when using VS-ATCM mode for patient imaging. Our experience can be a reference to others for implementation of clinical practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-332
Number of pages5
JournalRadiation Measurements
StatePublished - 2013


  • Helical scan
  • Image noise
  • Radiation dose
  • Tube current modulation
  • Volume scan


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