News | August 13, 2008

Pediatric CT Vendor Summit to Focus on Radiation Dose in Children

August 14, 2008 - The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging will host a pediatric computed tomography (CT) vendor summit to discuss product development to standardize radiation dose estimation settings and display language for pediatric CT scanners, Aug. 20 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Summit participants will also explore how vendor-provided education for technologists can promote better understanding of the unique steps required to safely perform CT scans on children.

“Children are not just ‘smaller adults.’ Their bodies are different and require a different approach to imaging. The purpose of this summit is to work with the vendors to institute a different method to base estimates of radiation dose captured at the time of the CT scan,” said Marilyn Goske, M.D., chair of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, past president of the Society for Pediatric Radiology (SPR), and Silverman Chair for Radiology Education, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. “This summit is an example of how all imaging stakeholders can work together to ensure that our youngest patients everywhere receive the safe, effective imaging care that they deserve.”

The Alliance, founded by the SPR, the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), launched the Image Gently campaign in January 2008, stressing: child-sizing the amount of radiation used on children; scanning once and only when necessary the indicated region; involving medical physicists to monitor pediatric CT techniques; and involving technologists to optimize scanning.

The Image Gently Web site (www.imagegently.org) contains the latest research and educational materials to aid radiologists, radiologic technologists, medical physicists, and other imaging stakeholders in determining the appropriate radiation techniques to be used in the imaging of children and how the radiation received from these exams may affect pediatric patients over time. A key feature of the new Web site is a library of helpful protocols that can be used for the imaging of children.

The Aug. 20 summit is the first formal step in the Image Gently effort to foster increased collaboration between providers and imaging manufacturers to produce scanners with common dose estimation settings and display language. The goal, ultimately, is to enable providers to more consistently perform scans with dose estimates appropriate for children. Providers would also work with vendors to produce educational opportunities, which could uniformly instruct technologists how to use the equipment to consistently accommodate the special imaging needs of children.

“Medical imaging stakeholders need to work together to make sure that imaging protocols keep pace with rapidly advancing technology,” said Donald P. Frush, M.D., FACR, chair of the ACR Commission on Pediatric Imaging. “This is particularly true regarding the imaging of children. We are proud to reach out to the entire imaging community to raise the quality of care that our youngest patients receive and help ensure that they have ready access to safe, effective imaging care in their own communities.”

The summit will feature presentations by representatives from the Alliance, including the ACR, SPR, ASRT, and AAPM, as well as the U.S. FDA and the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance. Representatives from every major medical imaging manufacturer will be in attendance.

“The Alliance’s growth shows that people recognize the importance of a team approach to reducing pediatric CT dose,” said Greg Morrison, RT(R), CNMT, CAE, ASRT executive vice president and chief knowledge officer. “Thanks to the Image Gently campaign, children who undergo a CT scan have a community of physicists, radiologists, radiologic technologists and vendors protecting them and pledging to keep them safe.”

“We now have tools available to us that allow the improvement of the estimation of patient dose. This summit provides us with the opportunity to begin dialogue with the equipment vendors on how to harness these tools to improve patient care,” said Keith Strauss, M.S., FACR, chair of the AAPM Image Gently Subcommittee.

For more information: www.acr.org, imagegently.org

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