First Look: Pediatric Dose Registry

Pediatric radiation dosage continues to be a hot topic in the news. Just recently, a new team of researchers stepped out with a goal of reducing overall radiation exposure level for pediatric patients. The team, called the Quality Improvement Registry in CT Scans in Children (QuIRCC), is made up of researchers from six children’s hospitals and is currently in the process of researching and developing the first pediatric CT dose index registry.

The QuIRCC comes after a May 9 mandate from the U.S .Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requiring manufacturers to design scanners with young patients in mind, intended to reduce overall radiation exposure levels in pediatric patients.  However, the QuIRCC project is about more than just manufacturing. In fact, the project is designed to help “child-size” scanning protocols by offering accurate metrics to measure radiation exposure in children.

The development of such a registry for children, alone, is especially important. But the other important feature here in this project is establishing the target ranges of dose per exam type that are considered acceptable. This should lower or damp down the large range of variance in dose for similar exam types between nearby medical centers.

Here at UW we know the importance of dose registry programs, as we got involved in the American College of Radiology Dose Index Registry pilot project right away.  This new dose index registry will make great strides for ensuring safe radiation practices for patients of all ages.