Removal of antiscatter grids for spinal digital subtraction angiography: Dose reduction without loss of diagnostic value

Emanuele Orrù, Amgad El Mekabaty, Diego San Millan, Monica S. Pearl, Philippe Gailloud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Spinal digital subtraction angiography (DSA) exposes patients and operators to substantial amounts of radiation. Antiscatter grid (ASG) removal is used to decrease radiation exposure but may reduce image quality. Purpose: To determine whether ASG removal during spinal DSA in adults reduces radiation dose while maintaining diagnostic image quality and whether dose reduction is related to body mass index (BMI). Materials and Methods: This Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act–compliant prospective study included adults undergoing spinal DSA between January and December 2016. Each procedure included an additional angiographic acquisition performed twice, once with and once without ASG, either documenting the artery of Adamkiewicz (no pathology group) or the condition leading to the procedure (pathology group). Dose differences between study acquisitions and the influence of BMI were evaluated via paired t test. Two neurointerventionalists blinded to acquisition protocols were asked to independently evaluate a sample of 40 study acquisitions (20 with ASG, 20 without ASG) from 20 randomly selected participants to (a) rate image quality, (b) categorize findings, and (c) determine whether images had been obtained with or without ASG. Percentage agreement on image quality, findings categorization, and ability to correctly identify the acquisition protocol was calculated for both readers. Results: Fifty-three participants (mean age 6 standard deviation, 51 years 6 15.2; 32 men) were evaluated. ASG removal reduced the mean dose per acquisition by approximately 33% (mean dose-area product and air kerma decreased from 202 to 135.6 µGy/m2 and from 35.3 to 24 mGy, respectively; P , .001) independently of BMI (P = .3). Both readers evaluated all images (40 of 40) as being of diagnostic quality and correctly categorized findings in 19 of 20 (95%) cases. Overall percentage agreement for correct protocol identification was 60% (12 of 20) for grid-in and 45% (nine of 20) for grid-out images. Conclusion: Antiscatter grid removal during spinal digital subtraction angiography decreased participants' radiation exposure while preserving diagnostic image quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-396
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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