At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center children are being exposed to an average of 37 percent less radiation from CT scans due to a new form of imaging software. The software, developed and currently only used by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, mathematically determines the lowest possible radiation dose for the patent and the settings to use for CT scanners.
“Radiologists have had to rely on a trial-and-error approach to optimizing CT radiation doses. This model allows us to more accurately walk that fine line of precise dosing,” said Dr. David Larson, director at the medical center and chief architect of the software.
Larson believes the new system can have a broad-scale impact on how CT scans are performed.
Future cancers caused by CT scans done on pediatric patients could be prevented by cutting the radiation dose according to Diana Miglioretti, PhD and colleagues of the University of California Davis.
Roughly four million pediatric CT scans that are performed each year are projected to induce development of cancers during the patient’s lifetime. Reducing the highest 25% of radiation doses to the median observed doses would be expected to prevent 43% of those cancers
The estimated lifetime risks of cancer related to radiation from CT scans were greater among those ages 5 to 14, girls, and those undergoing scans of the abdomen/pelvis.
A study in this months Radiology journal by RSNA has determined that Dexmedetomidine (DEX), which produces a state similar to natural sleep, has been proven a safe and effective means of sedating young children for purposes of capturing nuclear medicine imaging.
The study was performed between March 2005 and August 2011 with 669 patients averaging 4.5 years of age. The results of the study were that adequate sedation was achieved within 8.6 minutes. Six children (0.9%) had brief periods of oxygen desaturation below 95%, none of which required airway intervention.