Imaging advances bring down radiation doses

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Medical imaging technology has advanced over the past 20 years to a point that they now have reduced radiation dose for many imaging procedures by 20-75 percent. Despite the reduction in dose, the systems continue to offer physicians improved images for diagnosing and treating disease, according to a new report from Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a association of medical imaging and radiation therapy systems manufacturers and a division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

The dose reductions have been achieved through improvements in product operation and design, software applications, operating practices, and procedure algorithms. Highlights of the report findings include:

  • "Pulsed" rather than continuous x-rays in minimally invasive surgical procedures reduce patient dose by 50-75 percent;
  • Automated exposure controls that match the dose to body size and thickness reduce dose from 10-30 percent for routine CT examinations and, up to 50 percent for CT cardiac examinations; and
  • Reduced technique pediatric protocols that are based upon patient age and weight have reduced CT dose to pediatric patients significantly. Dose reductions of up to 80 percent for infants and 50 percent for small children are common with these pediatric protocols;

A full copy of the "How Innovations in Medical Imaging Have Reduced Radiation Dosage” report is available