Feature | January 12, 2012

Experts Offer Pointers for Optimizing Radiation Dose in Pediatric CT

January 12, 2012 — 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, M.D., author of the article. 

Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in Boston, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, reviewed practical strategies for reducing radiation dose associated with pediatric CT examinations. “Radiation dose reduction in children starts with the optimization of pediatric CT protocols,” said Mahadevappa Mahesh, MS, Ph.D., author of the article. “CT protocols should be strictly optimized on the basis of body size, body region, clinical indication and the availability of prior imaging.”

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: www.jacr.org, www.imagewisely.org, www.imagegently.org

Related Content

microtubules, heartbeat mechanics, Perelman School of Medicine study

Microtubules in a cardiomyocyte at rest (top) and when compressed. Image courtesy of the lab of Ben Prosser, Ph.D., Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

News | EP Lab| April 29, 2016
Using new high-resolution microscopy, researchers have found that molecular struts called microtubules (MT) interact...
breast cancer, herceptin chemotherapy drug, heart damage, monitoring, Journal of Clinical Oncology study
News | Cardiac Diagnostics| April 28, 2016
April 28, 2016 — Breast cancer patients undergoing treatment with trastuzumab-containing regimens should be monitored
coronary CT angiography, CCTA, SCOT-HEART trial substudy, SCCT
News | Computed Tomography (CT)| April 26, 2016
The results of a secondary analysis of the SCOT-HEART trial show that coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA)...
sleep patterns, metabolic syndrome, risk factors, ACC study
News | Cardiac Diagnostics| April 26, 2016
Taking long naps or being excessively tired during the day is associated with a higher risk for developing metabolic...
CABG, bypass surgery, heart failure, NHLBI study
News | Cardiovascular Surgery| April 25, 2016
Scientists have found that a greater number of patients with coronary artery disease may benefit from coronary artery...
Medtronic, Drug-Filled Stent, RevElution Trial results, ACC.16, CE Mark
News | Stents Drug Eluting| April 21, 2016
Medtronic plc announced new clinical data from one of the endpoints in the RevElution Trial for its novel, next-...
Toshiba, Aquilion Lightning CT, 50 kW generator, FDA clearance
News | Computed Tomography (CT)| April 20, 2016
April 19, 2016 — Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc.’s Aquilion Lightning...
statins, heart disease, HOPE-3 trial, intermediate-risk patients, hypertension, ACC.16
News | Pharmaceuticals| April 20, 2016
Lowering cholesterol with statins significantly reduced adverse cardiovascular events in people with average...
Stepathlon, exercise, cardiovascular health, Anand Ganesan, ACC.16
News | Patient Engagement| April 20, 2016
April 20, 2016 — A competition that used technology to encourage and track physical activity was effective at...
post-operative atrial fibrillation, AFib, heart rate, rhythm control, ACC.16
News | Atrial Fibrillation| April 20, 2016
In the first large randomized trial to directly compare two approaches to preventing atrial fibrillation following...
Overlay Init