Strategies To Be Followed For Minimizing The Computed Tomography Radiation Exposure

Computed tomography is an imaging technique that considered to be an important tool for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. However, there is increased lifetime risk of cancer due to x-ray radiation exposure.

Before recommending this test, the health care providers and radiologists should decide whether or not a CT is appropriate. The importance and relevance of the test should be judged. With sufficient clinical information and analysis, the radiologists may be able to suggest an acceptable alternative that does not use ionizing radiation, such as sonography or magnetic resonance imaging.

Depending on the region being scanned, the frequency of routine scanning can be reduced or eliminated. In certain cases, shielding of areas outside of the immediate scan area can be beneficial. Shielding of the breast tissue and thyroid gland during chest CT is a strategy to reduce radiation dose with no significant loss in diagnostic quality.

To reduce the effect of computed tomography radiation, selection of appropriate scan parameters such as the number of scans through the region in question, speed at which the patient travels through the gantry, gantry rotation cycle time, and tube current during the test is important.

In children, it is important to adjust the CT parameters based on the size of the child, region examined, and indication for the examination. Different CT parameters should be used for different regions or organ systems being scanned. Chest CT and skeletal CT do not require as much radiation as abdomen or head CT examinations. For example, detection of relatively conspicuous abnormalities such as a retroperitoneal hematoma, or conceivably renal calculi is possible with lower radiation dose.

The doctors and radiologists should consider all these parameter so that the benefits of Computed Tomography can outweigh the risks.

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