New model could estimate radiation skin doses during CT-guided interventions

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A new model that would allow interventional radiologists to better estimate patient radiation skin doses during CT-guided interventional procedures has been developed, according to a report in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

“It is clear that skin doses in CT-guided interventional procedures can become very high. Even for skin doses around 1 Gy, the prospect of repeating a procedure makes the determination of peak skin dose crucial for avoiding radiation injuries,” according to the study’s lead author Ioannis A. Tsalafoutas, PhD, and his colleagues from the Agios Savvas and Konstantopoulio Hospitals in Athens, Greece.

The theoretical model that was developed “considers the skin dose resulting from each CT slice, utilizing data that is already stored along with CT images. The skin doses calculated with this model were compared with those measured using films positioned under patients that underwent CT-guided interventional procedures. The results indicate that peak skin doses can be estimated accurately using the new theoretical model that provides a base for skin dose estimation in real time," the authors wrote.

"It is important for CT interventional radiologists to be able to monitor the radiation skin dose to their patient and optimize their techniques, so as to avoid skin injuries and minimize the probability of radiation induced carcinogenesis. The first step toward this goal is to understand the risk, to quantify it and to identify factors that affect it in order to be able to reduce it," according to Tsalafoutas and colleagues.

The theoretical method developed by Tsalafoutas and his colleagues could possibly lead to the development of specialized software for real-time skin estimation, which "would be a significant technological advancement from the aspect of radiation protection,” the authors wrote.