Compared to published amorphous-silicon (TFT) based X-ray detectors, crystalline silicon CMOS-based active-pixel detectors exploit the benefits of low noise, high speed, on-chip integration and featuring offered by CMOS technology. This presentation focuses on the specific advantage of high image quality at very low dose levels. The measurement of very low dose performance parameters like Detective Quantum Efficiency (DQE) and Noise Equivalent Dose (NED) is a challenge by itself. Second-order effects like defect pixel behavior, temporal and quantization noise effects, dose measurement accuracy and limitation of the x-ray source settings will influence the measurements at very low dose conditions. Using an analytical model to predict the low dose behavior of a detector from parameters extracted from shot-noise limited dose levels is presented. These models can also provide input for a simulation environment for optimizing the performance of future detectors. In this paper, models for predicting NED and the DQE at very low dose are compared to measurements on different CMOS detectors. Their validity for different sensor and optical stack combinations as well as for different x-ray beam conditions was validated.