Radiation dose and image quality comparison during spine surgery with two different, intraoperative 3D imaging navigation systems

Rami Nachabe, Keith Strauss, Beth Schueler, Mohamad Bydon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Careful protocol selection is required during intraoperative three-dimensional (3D) imaging for spine surgery to manage patient radiation dose and achieve clinical image quality. Radiation dose and image quality of a Medtronic O-arm commonly used during spine surgery, and a Philips hybrid operating room equipped with XperCT C-arm 3D cone-beam CT (hCBCT) are compared. The mobile O-arm (mCBCT) offers three different radiation dose settings (low, standard, and high), for four different patient sizes (small, medium, large, and extra large). The patient's radiation dose rate is constant during the entire 3D scan. In contrast, C-CBCT spine imaging uses three different field of views (27, 37, and 48 cm) using automatic exposure control (AEC) that modulates the patient's radiation dose rate during the 3D scan based on changing patient thickness. hCBCT uses additional x-ray beam filtration. Small, medium, and large trunk phantoms designed to mimic spine and soft tissue were imaged to assess radiation dose and image quality of the two systems. The estimated measured “patient” dose for the small, medium, and large phantoms imaged by the mCBCT considering all the dose settings ranged from 9.4–27.6 mGy, 8.9–33.3 mGy, and 13.8–40.6 mGy, respectively. The “patient” dose values for the same phantoms imaged with hCBCT were 2.8–4.6 mGy, 5.7–10.0 mGy, and 11.0–15.2 mGy. The CNR for the small, medium, and large phantoms was 2.9 to 3.7, 2.0 to 3.0, and 2.5 to 2.6 times higher with the hCBCT system, respectively. Hounsfield unit accuracy, noise, and uniformity of hCBCT exceeded the performance of the mCBCT; spatial resolution was comparable. Added x-ray beam filtration and AEC capability achieved clinical image quality for intraoperative spine surgery at reduced radiation dose to the patient in comparison to a reference O-arm system without these capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • cone-beam CT
  • image quality
  • intraoperative 3D imaging
  • radiation dose
  • spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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