Industry to standardize measurements, reporting of pediatric dose from CT scan

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CT dose estimates can underestimate radiation in pediatric imaging. Source:  

Medical imaging equipment manufacturers have agreed to work with the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging to create standardized radiation dose estimates and vendor-sponsored technologist education opportunities.

“This is an example of how all stakeholders in the medical imaging community can and must work together for the good of our pediatric patients and our profession. This summit and our subsequent agreement to work together, represents a major step forward in ensuring that medical protocols keep pace with rapidly advancing technology and are properly displayed on our CT equipment” said Marilyn Goske, MD, chair of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging.

The Alliance met Aug. 20 with a coalition of 29 organizations dedicated to reducing radiation dose estimates that children receive from medical imaging examinations.

“This agreement is a fundamental change in responsibility and accountability for the dose estimates that our children – and actually adults, too – receive during CT examinations,” said Donald Frush, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology Pediatric Imaging Commission.

Currently, dose capture and reporting systems can vary depending on the manufacturer, making comparisons difficult. Also, dose estimates for CT scans can underestimate the radiation dose utilized in pediatric imaging because the estimates are often developed using adult phantoms, according to the American College of Radiology.

Meeting participants produced a list of recommendations for application specialists who train technologists to use CT equipment:

  • Encourage application specialists to teach the key messages of the Image Gently campaign;
  • Provide training for all technologists, not just managers;
  • Provide online materials for technologists who can’t attend in-person training;
  • Develop uniform language to discuss technological concepts;
  • Provide listservs or discussion boards for additional help;
  • Leave behind information about strategies to reduce dose for children;
  • Involve medical physicists with applications trainers to help with dose reduction techniques; and
  • Share information about the Image Gently campaign with those whom they train.

“We need to give CT technologists additional training so technologists understand the implication of any changes they make to the scan protocols land how it impacts radiation dose for children,” said Greg Morrison, RT, CNMT, executive vice president and chief knowledge officer of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists.