[ RadSafe ] Experts offer pointers for optimizing radiation dose in pediatric CT

ROY HERREN royherren2005 at yahoo.com
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. 

For more information about radiation safety in children, visit 

For more information about radiation safety in adults, visit 

For more information about JACR, visit http://www.jacr.org. 
To receive an electronic copy of an article appearing in the JACR, or to set up 
an interview with a JACR author, please contact Heather Curry at 703-390-9822 or 
PR at acr.org. 


More information about the RadSafe mailing list