While previous studies have focused mainly on patient weight to reduce radiation dose, Dr. Kalra says, "we found that abdominal measurements of the region being studied along with weight can be used to reduce radiation exposure to patients."
To determine if CT radiation dose can be reduced by 50%, Dr. Kalra and his research team used a state-of-the-art CT scanner to assess the quality of the liver, spleen, adrenals, kidney, pancreas, and abdominal wall images in 39 patients aged 65 years and older. Images were taken at the standard radiation exposure and then at a 50% reduced radiation exposure. Radiologists compared the images for quality. For patients who have low weight or small body size, Dr. Kalra says, "CT scanning with 50% reduced radiation provided acceptable images."
At this time, it has not been determined whether or not even lower doses of radiation can be used for patients who are thinner or have very low weights. However, Dr. Kalra says, "studies have shown that children can be scanned using much less radiation, so the same should apply to adults who are very small."
Of the 93 million CT scans performed every year in the world, up to 65 million CT scans are performed in the United States alone, says Dr. Kalra. "The greater the radiation exposure to the subjects, the more the likelihood of radiation-induced risk, such as cancer. If we can reduce radiation dose in even a quarter of these exams, we will benefit society immensely. However, CT is a critical clinical test and reduction in radiation dose should be made only if it is unlikely to affect its quality and results," he says.
The study will be presented May 8, during the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in San Diego.
Contact: Danica Laub 703-858-4332
Keri Sperry 703-858-4306
Press Room 619-525-6536 (May 5-8)
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