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Challenges to Harmonization in CT Protocol Management and Review

D Gauntt1*, (1) UAB Medical Center, Birmingham, AL


(Sunday, 7/12/2020)   [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room: AAPM ePoster Library


Harmonization is the process of minimizing the differences between CT protocols across different models. Task Group 309 describes harmonization as one of the primary goals of Protocol Management and Review. We will present some of the challenges to overcome in harmonizing CT protocols across scanner models.


We collected CT protocols from scanners of 9 different models from 3 different vendors, and developed a single document format to describe these protocols. Custom written software allows us to produce documents describing single protocols for single scanner models, but also harmonization documents that highlight the differences between similar protocols on different scanner models.


The single most challenging difference is the wide range of protocol structure, ranging from 3 levels of parameters (protocol, acquisition, reconstruction) to 6 levels (protocol, series, group, reconstruction, sub-reconstruction, reformat). We will present examples of these different structures, along with the results of harmonization tests that highlight differences between protocols on different model scanners.


Proper harmonization of CT protocols requires an in-depth knowledge of the differences between scanner models. As any given technologist is typically familiar with only one or two models, and radiologists are typically unfamiliar with the details of CT scanner operation and protocol design, it is necessary that the medical physicist develop this in-depth knowledge.


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