Experts offer pointers for optimizing radiation dose in head CT

An article in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology summarizes methods for radiation dose optimization in head computed tomography (CT) scans. Head CT is the second most commonly performed CT examination, with 28 percent of the total number of CT examinations.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as the imaging modality of choice for a vast majority of brain and spinal indications. However, CT remains an integral part of modern neuroradiologic practice that can provide lifesaving information about patient management, specifically in patients with cerebrovascular diseases and head trauma.

Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in Boston, MA, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, looked at various head CT examinations and outlined strategies for reduction for the application of CT in the head, paranasal sinuses and spine.

"In the head, specific scanning protocols must be assigned depending on the examination type or clinical indication, such as routine head CT, , and paranasal or facial CT. In addition, users must ensure that CT is being performed for a valid clinical indication, whereby CT is expected to add information that will affect patient management," said Mahadevappa Mahesh, MS, PhD author of the article.

Investigators emphasize the use of certain techniques such as lower tube current, automatic exposure control and scanning at a lower tube voltage (especially for perfusion CT scans) are key for allowing substantial dose reduction for head CT examinations in both children and adults.

Provided by American College of Radiology

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Safer CT scanning for children developed

Apr 04, 2011

A research team at the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital has developed a method that allows the lowest possible dose of radiation for children having a CT scan while still obtaining good image quality, reveals a thesis from ...

Recommended for you

Putting the brakes on cancer

Dec 19, 2014

A study led by the University of Dundee, in collaboration with researchers at our University, has uncovered an important role played by a tumour suppressor gene, helping scientists to better understand how ...

Peanut component linked to cancer spread

Dec 19, 2014

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and survival of cancer cells in the body.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.