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Enhancing Radiation Protection in Computed Tomography

Info: 2792 words (11 pages) Essay
Published: 21st Sep 2017 in Health

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Michael Faulkner

Since the first-time Roentgen found that X-rays would pass through the tissues of humans leaving only the bones and one unique ring left behind as an image, many advancements have made in the world of radiology. Now when talking about these advancements, many of them have been by trial and error, allowing for the scientific and medical industries to come up with improvements in radiation protection.

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The Image Gently Alliance; is a dedicated set of health care organizations set upon providing safe, high-quality pediatric imaging worldwide. The primary objective of the Alliance is to raise awareness in the imaging community of the need to adjust radiation dose when imaging children. The main interest of the Alliance is to change practice. The Alliance found it paramount to set out on computed tomography (CT) scans (“Image Gently® And CT Scans – Image Gently – CT Scan Radiation, CT Scan Radiation Risk, CT Scan X-Ray,” 2017). The vast increase in pediatric CT scans performed in the United States in the past seven years, not to mention the extraordinary advancements made in CT technology, changes justify this Alliance strategy (“Image Gently® And CT Scans – Image Gently – CT Scan Radiation, CT Scan Radiation Risk, CT Scan X-Ray”, 2017).

It started with X-Ray

Since the first-time Roentgen found that X-rays would pass through the tissues of humans leaving only the bones and one particular ring left behind as an image, many advancements have made in the world of radiology. Now when talking about these advancements, many of them have been by trial and error, allowing for the scientific and medical industries to come up with improvements in radiation protection.

As x-ray begin to grow and find more use in the healthcare field so made its applications, it was at this peak, computed tomography (CT) which builds on a development of two areas; – X-ray imaging and computing. As previously stated, x-rays discovered in 1895 and within a few years were a traditional medical tool by the 1930s; tomography was being developed, enabling the visualization of sections through a body (“impactscan.org | a brief history of CT”, 2017). Several researchers by the 1960s had worked independently on cross-sectional imaging, culminating in Hounsfield’s work at EMI developing computed tomography (CT) for the EMI Scanner (“impactscan.org | a brief history of CT”, 2017). This device relied on the reconstruction of image data by computer, the data acquired from multiple X-ray transmissions through the object under investigation. The mid-1970s became a time of rapid development in CT: 1976 saw 17 companies offering scanners, with scan times down to 5 seconds in some cases. By 1978, 200 was the base number of scanners in the USA, image sizes were up advancing up matrix sizes to 512 x 512, and some models of scanner had the capability of ECG-triggered scans (“impactscan.org | a brief history of CT”, 2017).

Pediatric CT, is a valuable imaging tool, growing at s increasing rapid rate. However, because of the potential for increased radiation exposure to children undergoing these scans, pediatric CT is a public health concern(ACR), 2017). To appreciate the value of CT and the importance of minimizing the radiation dose, especially in children. First address the following issues: CT as a diagnostic tool, unique considerations for radiation exposure in children, radiation risks from CT in children, immediate strategies to minimize CT radiation exposure to children, and CT as a Diagnostic Tool(ACR), 2017).

CT is a unique instrument in diagnosing disease and harm in kids. For an individual youngster, the dangers of CT are little, and the correct hazard advantage adjust favors the advantage when utilized fittingly. Approximately 5 to 9 million CT examinations are performed annually on children in the United States. The use of CT in adults and children has increased about eightfold since 1980, with annual growth estimated at 10 percent per year. Growth utility in common diseases, as well as to technical improvements.

Despite the many benefits of CT, a disadvantage is the inevitable radiation exposure. Although CT scans comprise up to about 12 percent of diagnostic radiological procedures to a great U.S. hospitals, estimated that they account for approximately 49 percent of the U.S. population’s collective radiation dose from all medical x-ray examinations.  CT is the most significant contributor to medical radiation exposure among the U.S. population.

Unique Considerations for Radiation Exposure in Children

Radiation exposure is a concern in both adults and children. Be that as it may, there is three individuals considers kids. Children are significantly more delicate to radiation than grown-ups, as showed in epidemiologic investigations of uncovered populaces. Youngsters have a more drawn out future than adults, bringing about a bigger window of chance for communicating radiation harm. Youngsters may get a higher radiation dosage than should be expected if CT settings balanced for their littler body estimate. As a result, the risk of developing radiation-related cancer can be several times greater for a young child compared to an adult exposed to an identical CT scan (“Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography”, 2017).

In the most recent decade upgrades in CT hardware have considered better pictures at lower measurements. The utilization of suitable settings has likewise turned out to be a great deal more far-reaching, bringing about decreases in measures for kids (“Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography”, 2017). There is no requirement for higher measurements in youngsters, and proper settings ought to dependably utilize. Notwithstanding the lower sizes, different outputs to an individual patient present a worry. Additionally, the utilization of more than one output (that is, more than one differentiation “stage”) amid a solitary examination will additionally build the radiation dosage. In the clear majority of cases, a single scan should be sufficient during pediatric CT (“Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography”, 2017).

Radiation Risks from CT in Children

Significant national and global associations in charge of assessing radiation dangers concur that there most likely is no low-measurements radiation “limit” for initiating malignancies. At the end of the day, no measure of radiation ought to view as protected.

The primary study to evaluate the danger of disease straightforwardly after CT filters in adolescence found a reasonable measurement reaction relationship for both leukemia and mind tumors: hazard expanded with growing total radiation dosage (“Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography”, 2017).”For a cumulative dose of between 50 and 60 milligray or mGy (mGy is a unit of estimated absorbed dose of ionizing radiation) to the head, the investigators reported a threefold increase in the risk of brain tumors; the same dose to bone marrow (the part of the body responsible for generating blood cells) resulted in a threefold increase in the risk of leukemia. For both findings, the comparison group consisted of individuals who had cumulative doses of less than 5 mGy to the important regions of the body “(“Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography”, 2017).

The quantity of CT sweeps required to give an aggregate measurement of 50-60mGy relies on upon the kind of CT output, the age of the patient, and the scanner settings. If perfect current scanner settings utilized for head CT in youngsters, then a few head CT outputs would bring about a measurement of 50-60mGy to the cerebrum. A similar dosage to re. Bone marrow would be delivered by five to 10 head CT filters, utilizing current scanner settings for kids under age 15.

Beforehand, the possible tumor chance from CT use has been evaluated using hazard projection models got fundamentally from investigations of survivors of the nuclear bomb blasts in Japan. The dangers saw in the review portrayed above were steady with those past assessments. Stress that the total tumor risks related with CT outputs are little. The lifetime risks of growth because of CT sweeps, which have evaluated in the writing utilizing projection models given nuclear bomb survivors. As read in Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography, about 1 case of cancer for every 1,000 people who are scanned, with a maximum incidence of about 1 case of cancer for every 500 people who examined (“Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography”, 2017).

The benefits of correctly performed and clinically justified CT examinations should always outweigh the risks for an individual child; unnecessary exposures related with pointless hazard. Limiting radiation introduction from pediatric CT, at whatever point conceivable, will lessen the anticipated number of CT-related tumors.

Quick Measures to Minimize CT Radiation Exposure in Children

Doctors, other pediatric therapeutic services suppliers, CT technologists, CT makers, and different restorative and legislative associations share the obligation to limit CT radiation measurements to youngsters. A few quick strides can be taken to lessen the measure of radiation that youngsters get from CT examinations:

Perform just first CT examinations. Correspondence between pediatric social insurance suppliers and radiologists can decide the requirement for CT and the method to be utilized. There are standard signs for CT in kids, and radiologists ought to survey reasons before each pediatric sweep and be accessible for a conference when signs are dubious. Whenever suitable, different modalities, for example, ultrasound or attractive reverberation imaging (MRI), which don’t utilize ionizing radiation, ought to be considered (“Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography”, 2017).

Adjust exposure parameters for pediatric CT based on child size: guidelines based on individual size/weight parameters should use. Region scanned: the part of the body scanned should be limited to the smallest prime area. Organ frameworks inspected: bring down mA and kVp settings ought to consider for skeletal, lung imaging, and some CT angiographic and follow-up examinations.

Examine determination: the most high-quality pictures (i.e., those that require the most radiation) are not obliged to analyze. As a rule, bring down judgment sweeps are indicative. Suppliers ought to be acquainted with the measurements descriptors accessible on CT scanners and limit the utilization of CT examinations that use many sweeps acquired amid various periods of complexity upgrade (multiphase reviews). These multiphase reviews result in an impressive increment in measurement and are infrequently necessary, particularly in body (trunk and stomach area) imaging.

Long haul Strategies to Minimize CT Radiation

Notwithstanding the prompt measures to diminish CT radiation presentation in youngsters, long haul methodologies required: Encourage the improvement and appropriation of pediatric CT conventions. Advance the utilization of specific methods for pediatric imaging, for example, for the pre-surgical assessment of a ruptured appendix. Teach through diary distributions and meetings inside and outside radiology claims to fame to advance presentation settings and survey the requirement for CT in an individual patient. Disperse data through affiliations, associations, or social orders required in therapeutic services for children, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Emergency Physicians. Provide readily available information sources, such as the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging (“Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography”, 2017).

Conduct further research to determine the relationship between CT quality and dose, to customize CT scanning for individual children, and to clarify the relationship between CT radiation and cancer risk further.

Lastly Directly from the New York Department of Health (“Reducing Radiation Doses to Children”, 2017),

July 2017

Dear Doctor:

This letter is a follow-up to a previous letter sent out to you by New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., regarding the use of multi-slice computed tomography (CT). While CT imaging acknowledged as an essential tool for diagnosis, the overall radiation dose to the population, especially children, has grown dramatically with the introduction of multi-slice scanners. Although computed tomography scanners that installed today are more dose efficient than their predecessors, the radiation burden that placed on our population has grown significantly in the past twenty years. Physicians can have a tremendously positive impact on the health of New Yorkers by using their CT equipment in a manner which minimizes the radiation dose to their patients, specifically, by establishing protocols that are dose efficient with a minimum number of slices and by trying to accept imaging protocols with reduced mA whenever possible.

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The New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection (NYSDOH BERP) has partnered with the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging to promote the Image Gently Campaign. The goal of the Image Gently campaign is to change practice by increasing awareness of the opportunities to lower radiation dose in the imaging of children. Information on the Image Gently campaign can be found at www.imagegently.org. This site provides valuable information for physicians and parents regarding CT scans and the doses of radiation that are involved.

To help raise awareness, we would like to provide you with the enclosed sample information sheets and dosimetry cards to record the amount of radiation that a child receives when undergoing an imaging CT exam. As part of this project, we would like to ask you to distribute copies of this pamphlet and dosimetry cards to your patients and their parents.

If you would like to participate in this project, please fill out the enclosed information return card and mail it back to us. We greatly appreciate your time and hope to be working together with you in this effort. Together, we can reduce the amount of radiation that our children are receiving.

If you have any questions about this project, please feel free to contact Mr. Nikolas Webster at (518) 402-7556, or send an email to —–. If you would like additional information, please visit our website www.health.ny.gov/radiation.


Howard A. Freed, M.D.



Center for Environmental Health (“Reducing Radiation Doses to Children”, 2017).

(ACR), R. (2017). Body CT (CAT Scan). Radiologyinfo.org. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=bodyct

Computed Tomography (CT). (2017). Fda.gov. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/MedicalImaging/MedicalX-Rays/ucm115317.htm

Image Gently® And CT Scans – Image Gently – CT Scan Radiation, CT Scan Radiation Risk, CT Scan X-Ray. (2017). Imagegently.org. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from http://www.imagegently.org/Procedures/Computed-Tomography#2018473-technologists

impactscan.org | a brief history of CT. (2017). Impactscan.org. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from http://www.impactscan.org/CThistory.htm

Radiation protection in pediatric radiology. (2017). ScienceDaily. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110704082704.htm

Radiation Risks and Pediatric Computed Tomography. (2017). National Cancer Institute. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/pediatric-ct-scans

Reducing Radiation Doses to Children. (2017). Health.ny.gov. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radiation_safety_guides/computed_tomography_letter_freed.htm


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