Background: Body weight (BW) is a relevant metric in emergency care. However, visual/physical methods to estimate BW are unreliable. We have developed a method for estimating BW based on effective mAs (mAseff) from computed tomography (CT) dose modulation.
Methods: The mAseff of CT examinations was correlated with the BW of 329 decedents. Linear regression analysis was used to calculate an equation for BW estimation based on the results of decedents with a postmortem interval (PMI) < 4 days (n = 240). The equation was applied to a validation group of 125 decedents. Pearson correlation and t-test statistics were used.
Results: We found an overall strong correlation between mAseff and BW (r = 0.931); r values ranged from 0.854 for decedents with PMI ≥ 4 days to 0.966 for those with PMI < 4 days; among the latter group, r was 0.974 for females and 0.960 for males and 0.969 in the presence and 0.966 in the absence of metallic implants (all correlations with p values < 0.001). The estimated BW was equal to 3.732 + (0.422 × mAseff) – (3.108 × sex index), where the sex index is 0 for males and 1 for females. The validation group showed a strong correlation (r = 0.969) between measured BW and the predicted BW, without significant differences overall (p = 0.119) as well as in female (p = 0.394) and in male decedents (p = 0.196). No outliers were observed.
Conclusions: CT dose modulation is a rapid and reliable method for BW estimation with potential use in clinical practice, in particular in emergency settings.