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

This image, taken with Canon's Aquilion One, shows a lung with metastases from bowel cancer.

This image, taken with Canon’s Aquilion One, shows a lung with metastases from bowel cancer. Image courtesy of Canon.

Feature | Lung Cancer | April 18, 2018 | Jeff Zagoudis
In recent years, low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening has emerged as a proven, effective method to detect lung
FDA Clears Siemens' Somatom go.All, go.Top CT Scanners
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | April 18, 2018
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Somatom go.All and Somatom go.Top computed tomography (CT)...
Chest X-ray AI Algorithm Correctly Identifies Lung Disease for Dubai Health Authority
Feature | Artificial Intelligence | April 17, 2018
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced the preliminary results of a chest X-ray artificial intelligence (AI)...
Canon Medical Systems' Aquilion Precision CT Receives FDA Clearance
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | April 13, 2018
April 13, 2018 — Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. this week received U.S.
First Patient Treated in Online Adaptive Radiotherapy Trial With CyberKnife System
News | Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) | April 06, 2018
Accuray Inc. and Erasmus MC announced the first patient has been successfully treated using an online-adaptive (OA)...
Brainomix Secures $9.8m Investment to Tackle Strokes With AI
News | Stroke | April 05, 2018
April 5, 2018 — Medical imaging company Brainomix has attracted £7m ($9.8 million) of investment to bring its...
FDA Clears Siemens Somatom Edge Plus CT System
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | April 04, 2018
April 4, 2018 — The U.S.
News | Endoscopes | April 02, 2018
Results from a recent prospective trial found the Wide Area Transepithelial Sampling with 3D Tissue Analysis (WATS3D)...
Overlay Init