Eye Shielding During Head CT Scans: Dose Reduction and Image Quality Evaluation

Yuan Hao Lee, Shih Hung Yang, Yen Kuang Lin, Randolph D. Glickman, Chia Yuen Chen, Wing P. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale and Objectives: In this study, we assessed the radiation dose to the lens and the impacts of various eye shields using either a fixed or modulated tube current. Materials and Methods: Patients undergoing head computed tomography (CT) examinations were recruited, and each was randomly assigned to one of five imaging groups, either without a CT eye shield or with one of two types of shielding and topogram-based tube current modulation (TCM). The radiation dose at the eye lens was estimated using Gafchromic films. All CT images were analyzed for quality in the orbit and brain areas. Two radiologists also qualitatively assessed image artifacts and their impacts on image quality using three-point Likert scales. Results: Both barium sulfate and bismuth-antimony shields significantly reduced radiation dose to the lens (by 28.60%–31.92% and 43.87%–47.00%, respectively) while significantly inducing image artifacts. The image quality of the intraocular structure, but not the intracranial structure, was significantly degraded by shielding. In addition, discriminating the periocular tissues was improved using a bismuth-antimony shield and topogram-based TCM. Compared to fixed tube current, topogram-based TCM provided better signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios in the intracranial structures when the bismuth-antimony and barium sulfate shields were applied, respectively. Conclusion: Artifacts resulting from the application of eye shields during head CT examinations can be reduced by using topogram-based TCM instead of a fixed tube current. This could be an alternative approach for maintaining image quality in CT scans that do not encompass organ-based TCM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1523-1530
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Radiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Eye shield
  • Head computed tomography scan
  • Image quality
  • Radiation dose
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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