CT Radiation Overexposure Still a Problem, Regulation Issues are Complex

Unfortunately, ct scan radiation overexposure continues to be a problem in hospitals and imaging facilities across the country. However, the question of regulation of dose from ct scanners is a complex issue. Many say that the best pathway to regulation is through the existing American College of Radiology mechanisms – such as certification of CT sites and subspecialty certification of both radiologists and CT technologists. This may expand to include requirements for regular monitoring of dose from typical exams and reporting the results of such monitoring to a central ACR registry.

Others advocate a role for the FDA, though that government agency may turn to a group of experts, such as the ACR or the Society of Computed Body Tomography. A national registry of individual patients which records dose from each CT exam for each patient, and cumulative dose for each patient, would also be a best practice – Europe does this now in the EU.

Finally, we need many and repeated courses, texts, electronic educational media, and monographs focused on the topic of how to consistently achieve CT scans at much lower dose than a few years ago. This education should be widely available and ongoing.

Our recent UW Symposium on Low Dose CT was a repeat from six months ago, and was equally well attended.

Back By Popular Demand: Low Dose CT Symposium Set for March 12, 2011

The Low Dose CT Symposium is a repeat session of the October 10, 2010 symposium which drew close to 150 people and was greatly received! It will be an excellent opportunity to gain understanding of the current thinking about how to lower dose in CT scanning without compromising the diagnostic power of CT. Radiologists, physicists, and senior technologists are combining their knowledge and experience in multiple 20-minute talks about Low Dose CT technique, covering all aspects of protocols, technique, and ordering appropriateness for use of CT.

The half-day symposium is taking place March 12, 2011, in Seattle at the University of Washington Health Sciences’ Turner Auditorium, D-209.  The symposium is available for a maximum of 3.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Registration is required to attend.

For more information on the event — and to register — please visit www.lowdosecteducation.com.

Here’s a guick look at the agenda:

8:00-8:30am Refreshments
8:30am Welcome William Shuman, MD, FACR
8:40am Why the Unexamined CT Can Be Very High Dose Kalpana Kanal, PhD
9:00am Low Dose CT Technique William Shuman, MD, FACR
9:20am Low Dose CT in the Abdomen: Practical Applications Carlos Cuevas, MD
9:40am Low Dose Techniques for Vascular CT Lee Mitusmori, MD
10:00am-10:20am Break
10:20am Low Dose CT: The Technologist’s Perspective Mario Ramos RT,CT
10:40am Low Dose Cardiac CT — Coronary Arteries, Whole Chest, and Beyond William Shuman, MD, FACR
11:00am Educating Patients about Radiation Janet Busey, MS
11:20am Low Dose CT in the Acute Care Setting Martin Gunn, MD
11:40am The Future of Low Dose CT Paul Kinahan, MD
12:00-12:30pm Questions and Panel Discussion
Adjourn

Hope to see you there!

Team Effort Needed in Push for Low Radiation Dose CT

In the days that followed last month’s Low Dose CT Symposium, I had time to reflect on how wonderful it was that the event drew an unprecedented number of attendees. The interest in the symposium was evident by how far some attendees traveled to get there. I was also struck by the segments of the industry that were represented in the audience: technologists, radiologists, technicians and administrators were all there. It made me think about each segment’s relationship to one another, and their ability to impact change in the industry.

When driving toward much lower radiation dose in CT, it’s good to remember that a team effort is needed. Technologists must be educated on all the tricks and skills needed and must fully understand why dose reduction is important. They can help radiologists be more conscious of dose exactly when radiologists are urging technologists to pay close attention. Both techs and radiologists can use their knowledge to help educate administrators about the importance of investing in low dose CT. Everyone can help educate referring clinicians about thinking of dose when they order, both for an individual study and cumulative dose (over time) in individual patients. And it is the whole chain of providers who monitor appropriateness of studies at each and every level.

Low Dose CT Symposium Set for October 2

The Low Dose CT Symposium will be an excellent opportunity to gain understanding of the current thinking about how to lower dose in CT scanning without compromising the diagnostic power of CT. Radiologists, physicists, and senior technologists are combining their knowledge and experience in multiple 20-minute talks about Low Dose CT technique, covering all aspects of protocols, technique, and ordering appropriateness for use of CT.

The half-day symposium is taking place October 2, 2010, in Seattle at the University of Washington Health Sciences’ Turner Auditorium, D-209. Registration is required to attend. Attendance is free, but a $25/50 charge applies to those attendees requesting CME credit.

For more information on the event, please visit www.lowdosecteducation.com. Or to go directly to the registration page, please click here.

Note for attendees: We’ve already been approved for 3.5 AMA CME Category 1 credits for the activity; ASRT credits pending.

Here’s a guick look at the agenda:

8:00-8:30am Refreshments
8:30am Welcome William Shuman, MD, FACR
8:40am Why the Unexamined CT Can Be Very High Dose Kalpana Kanal, PhD
9:00am Low Dose CT Technique William Shuman, MD, FACR
9:20am Low Dose CT in the Abdomen: Practical Applications Carlos Cuevas, MD
9:40am Low Dose Techniques for Vascular CT Lee Mitusmori, MD
10:00am-10:20am Break
10:20am Low Dose CT: The Technologist’s Perspective Mario Ramos RT,CT
10:40am Low Dose Cardiac CT — Coronary Arteries, Whole Chest, and Beyond Kelley Branch, MD
11:00am Educating Patients about Radiation Janet Busey, MS
11:20am Low Dose CT in the Acute Care Setting Martin Gunn, MD
11:40am The Future of Low Dose CT Paul Kinahan, MD
12:00-12:30pm Questions and Panel Discussion
Adjourn

Hope to see you there!