[ RadSafe ] Experts offer pointers for optimizing radiation dose in pediatric CT
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Mon Jan 9 00:10:35 CST 2012
Public release date: 6-Jan-2012
[Contact: Heather Curry
PR at acr.org
American College of Radiology
Experts offer pointers for optimizing radiation dose in pediatric CT
An article in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of
Radiology summarizes methods for radiation dose optimization in pediatric
computed tomography (CT) scans. Approximately seven to eight million CT
examinations are performed for various pediatric clinical indications per year
in the United States.
Justification of clinical indication is the most important aspect of reducing
radiation dose with CT scanning. A substantial number of pediatric CT scans lack
appropriate justification or can be replaced with other imaging modalities with
lower or no ionizing radiation, such as radiography, ultrasonography and
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can provide similar diagnostic
information for some clinical conditions.
"When not clinically indicated, not performing a CT examination is certainly the
best radiation dose reduction strategy. However, when a CT scan is indicated,
there are steps that can be taken to optimize the dose that children receive.
It's important that all imaging providers take these steps as indicated," said
Mannudeep K. Kalra, MD, author of the article.
Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in
Boston, MA, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, reviewed practical
strategies for reducing radiation dose associated with pediatric CT
"Radiation dose reduction in children starts with the optimization of pediatric
CT protocols. CT protocols should be strictly optimized on the basis of body
size, body region, clinical indication and the availability of prior imaging,"
said Mahadevappa Mahesh, MS, PhD, author of the article.
Additional steps include using a lower tube current (and voltage), restricting
the scan length to include only the region of interest and using new techniques
of image post-processing and reconstruction.
"Children are more sensitive to radiation-induced risks and need special
attention. Therefore, while designing CT protocols, it is crucial to keep
clinical indications, weight and prior available imaging in mind to optimize
radiation dose," said Mahesh.
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