It’s a fact of life that all CT scans involve radiation. And certain types of diagnoses and diseases are going to require regular repeated CT scans – resulting in a high cumulative CT radiation dose to the patient over time. But as a recent news story profiled, there is a new technique and technology that can help reduce CT scan radiation exposure by up to 60%.
Researchers at the University of Washington have pushed the frontiers of CT technique by circumventing the noisiness and blurriness of images scanned at very low radiation dose. These noisy images are made sharp and clear by better software reconstruction technology. It’s a bit like what NASA does with high altitude satellite technology. This means that the same diagnostic power is achievable with much less radiation to the patient.
This new approach works for all types of CT scans, but can be especially important for children and certain areas of the body – in particular, the female breast, the gonads and other tissues in the abdomen. These are particularly radiation sensitive, so we want CT scans to be as low in radiation dose as possible without compromising the diagnostic power of the CT scan. Low dose technique combined with low dose technology accomplishes this.
New innovations are continually being made in the field of medical imaging. If you need a CT scan, it’s always OK to ask your doctor if you can get one with a lower dose of radiation.