Pointers for Radiation Dose in Head CT

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Computed tomography (CT) is a noninvasive medical test that helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with computers to produce multiple pictures of the inside of the body. Head CT is the second most commonly performed CT examination; it accounts for 28 percent of the total number of CT examinations.

Recently, researchers have looked at various head CT examinations and outlined strategies for radiation dose reduction for the application of CT in the head, paranasal sinuses and spine. Computed Tomography is an important part of modern neuroradiologic practice, and can provide lifesaving information about patient management, specifically in patients with cerebrovascular diseases and head trauma.

“In the head, specific scanning protocols must be assigned depending on the examination type or clinical indication, such as routine head CT, CT angiography, CT perfusion, 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,” Mahadevappa Mahesh, M.S., PhD, the article’s lead author, was quoted saying.

Experts stress 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 factors for allowing substantial dose reduction for head CT examinations in both children and adults.

SOURCE: The Journal of the American College of Radiology, July 29, 2011

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