The impacts of vertical off-centring, tube voltage, and phantom size on computed tomography numbers: An experimental study

Y. Al-hayek, K. Spuur, R. Davidson, C. Hayre, X. Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This experimental study explored the effect of vertical off-centring on computed tomography (CT) numbers in combination with various tube voltages and phantom sizes for two CT units.

CIRS Model 062 Electron Density and system performance phantoms were imaged on Siemens Emotion 16-slice CT and GEMINI-GXL scanners, respectively. Uniformity and accuracy were evaluated as a function of vertical off-centring (20, 40, 60, and 80 mm above the gantry isocentre) using different water phantom sizes (18, 20, and 30 cm) and tube voltages (80, 90, 110, 120, 130 and 140 kVp).

Vertical off-centring and phantom size accounted for 92% of the recorded variance and the resultant change in CT numbers. The uniformity test recorded maximum changes of 14 and 27.2 HU for peripheral ROIs across the X- and Y-axes for an 80 mm phantom shift above the gantry isocentre on the GEMINI GXL and Siemens scanners, respectively. The absolute CT number differences between the superior and inferior ROIs were 13.7 HU for the 30 cm phantom and 4.8 HU for the 20 cm phantom for 80 mm vertical off-centring. The largest differences were observed at lower tube voltages.

It is essential to highlight the significance of CT number variation in clinical decision-making. Phantom off-centring affected the uniformity of these numbers, which were further impacted by the ROI position in this experimental study. CT number variation was more evident in peripheral phantom areas, lower tube voltages and larger phantom sizes.

Implications for practice
CT number is observed to be a variable under certain common conditions. This significantly impacts several applications where clinical decisions depend on CT number accuracy for tissue lesion characterisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-647
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


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