News | Radiation Dose Management | April 17, 2017

University of California Study Searches for Consistent CT Dose Best Practices

Study across five medical centers stresses importance of sharing dose information across institutions to develop standards

University of California Study Searches for Consistent CT Dose Best Practices

April 17, 2017 — A new study led by UC San Francisco has found that radiation doses can be safely and effectively reduced – and more consistently administered – for common computed tomography (CT) scans by assessing and comparing doses across hospitals, and then sharing best practices for how much radiation to use.

While there has been a steady rise in the use of CT in the United States over the last decade, doses of radiation vary substantially between hospitals, with few concrete standards on best dose levels. As a result, medical experts have difficulty determining the “right” dose of radiation that balances diagnostic accuracy, while minimizing the radiation exposure that increases cancer risk for patients. Without a consistent standard, each institution generally makes independent decisions about what dose to use.   

A new project at the five academic medical centers of the University of California introduced a feedback system for radiologists on their doses and sought to study its effectiveness in reducing excess radiation exposure. The program consisted of auditing radiology professionals at each medical center and providing feedback on how these doses compared to those used at the other medical centers, while systematically sharing best practices. Included in the project were section chiefs of radiology, medical physicists and radiology technicians.

The project resulted in substantially lower radiation doses for chest and abdominal scans, as well as more consistent radiation doses for head scans, according to the study which appears April 10 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“We estimate that if the improvements we saw were applied to all abdominal CT scans performed in the U.S., this would result in the reduction of approximately 12,000 cancers annually,” said senior author Rebecca Smith-Bindman, M.D., a professor in the UCSF departments of radiology, and of epidemiology and biostatistics, and the Philip R. Lee Institute of Health Policy Studies. Smith-Bindman also directs the Radiology Outcomes Research Laboratory.

“Reducing unnecessary and inconsistent radiation doses is an extremely important process for improving patient safety,” she said. “We found that providing detailed and comparative feedback, and sharing best practices on how each institution was able to optimize their dose, leads to lower and more consistent CT doses. In short, it makes no sense for each institution to have to reinvent the wheel regarding how to optimize doses – this project focuses on helping the leaders at each institution learn from each other.”

For more information: www.jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine

Related Content

The Fujifilm FCT Embrace CT System displayed for the first time at ASTRO 2018.
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | November 07, 2018
Fujifilm's first FDA-cleared compu...
MaxQ AI Receives FDA Clearance for Accipio Ix Intracranial Hemorrhage Platform
Technology | Artificial Intelligence | November 07, 2018
MaxQ AI announced that its Accipio Ix intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) detection software has received 510(k) clearance...
GE Healthcare Discovery RF Gen 2 system displayed at ASTRO 2018. It is a dedicated computed tomography (CT) scanner for radiation oncology
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | November 07, 2018
This is the GE Healthcare Discovery RF Gen 2 system displayed at the ...
Proton Therapy for Pediatric Brain Tumors Has Favorable Cognitive Outcomes
News | Proton Therapy | November 06, 2018
Proton therapy treatment for pediatric brain tumor patients is associated with better neurocognitive outcomes compared...
Results of the vertebrae-based analysis (383 vertebrae in 34 patients) for detection of BME.

Results of the vertebrae-based analysis (383 vertebrae in 34 patients) for detection of BME.

Sponsored Content | Case Study | Computed Tomography (CT) | November 06, 2018
The following is a summary of a study published in the
The NeuViz 16 Essence from Neusoft Medical Systems.

The NeuViz 16 Essence from Neusoft Medical Systems.

Feature | Computed Tomography (CT) | November 05, 2018 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
According to an industry mark...
150-Year-Old Drug Might Improve Radiation Therapy for Cancer
News | Radiation Therapy | November 02, 2018
November 2, 2018 — A drug first identified 150 years ago and used as a smooth-muscle relaxant might make tumors more
SBRT Considered Safe Treatment Option for Patients With Multiple Metastases
News | Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) | November 01, 2018
The NRG Oncology clinical trial BR001 tested the hypothesis that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) could be used...