June 29, 2010 – A newly formed committee of experts has begun to tackle the issue of reducing radiation in computed tomography (CT). The panel was launched by Siemens Healthcare as a part of the Siemens Radiation Reduction Alliance (SIERRA).
The new Low Dose Expert Panel includes 15 specialists in radiology, cardiology and physics, who are internationally recognized for their publications on the subject of CT dose. The panel’s objective is to generate proposals for how manufacturers may continue to develop their technology and to help users better adapt their procedures in order to bring about further dose reduction in CT. One of the most important suggestions from the first meeting of the Low Dose Expert Panel in May concerns methods to increase utilization in clinical practice of the many CT dose reduction technologies that are already available.
Already at its first round of discussions last month, the panel identified several action items:
• To establish a baseline of dose levels for the 10 most commonly performed CT exams, the group agreed to establish and contribute to an international, multi-institutional dose registry. The values obtained can help establish reference doses, with the potential to dramatically lower radiation exposure in clinical practice.
• The participating institutions will share their CT scan protocols for the 10 most commonly performed examinations on a central website to promote best practice sharing in the field.
• Siemens will develop a dedicated low dose educational program in close collaboration with the involved institutions. Trainers specializing in dose reduction technology will be available to work with customers to train personnel, optimize scan protocols and implement dose reduction procedures.
The panel will meet twice a year to discuss new ideas and investigate whether measures already agreed upon are having a positive impact. Siemens intends to use the discussions to spur the development of new features for its CT scanners and new training programs for its customers.
The panel’s members are:
• Hatem Alkadhi, M.D., University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland
• Christoph Becker, M.D., Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany
• Elliot Fishman, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, U.S.
• Donald Frush, M.D., Duke University, U.S.
• Jörg Hausleiter, M.D., German Heart Center Munich, Germany
• Willi Kalender, Ph.D., University of Erlangen, Germany
• Harold Litt, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, U.S.
• Cynthia McCollough, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic, U.S.
• Alec Megibow, M.D., NYU-Langone Medical Center, U.S.
• Michael Recht, M.D., NYU-Langone Medical Center, U.S.
• Dushyant Sahani, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, U.S.
• U. Joseph Schoepf, M.D., Medical University of South Carolina, U.S.
• Marilyn Siegel, M.D., Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, U.S.
• Aaron Sodickson, M.D.-Ph.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, U.S.
• Kheng-Thye Ho, M.D., Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore