Released: November 28, 2007
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|After 11/29/07:||RSNA Media Relations||1-630-590-7762|
Chicago, Nov. 28, 2007 – Today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), the largest international medical meeting, radiology professionals responded to a review article in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). "Computed Tomography – An Increasing Source of Radiation Exposure," authored by David Brenner, Ph.D., D.Sc., and Eric J. Hall, D.Phil., D.Sc., discussed the growth in the use of computed tomography (CT) and the increase in patient radiation exposure as a result.
Radiologists, medical physicists and other radiology professionals have long recognized that there needs to be conscientious implementation of CT practice and have assumed a collective responsibility for maintaining rigorous standards of practice. Radiologists recognize their responsibility as physicians to provide appropriate imaging algorithms for CT and to make these as safe as possible by minimizing dose without sacrificing diagnostic ability. They are directly involved in the development of technologies and protocols to ensure patient safety in medical imaging scenarios. Radiologic scientists are working closely with manufacturers to lower radiation doses to patients without losing imaging quality.
The NEJM article has elicited media and public attention to a topic that many radiology professionals believe should be at the forefront. It is important that one of the salient points from the authors is not overlooked, that "from an individual standpoint, when a CT scan is justified by medical need, the associated risk is small relative to the diagnostic information obtained." There is overwhelming agreement in the radiology community that there is risk with CT, but that the potential benefits far outweigh this small risk.
Several radiology organizations made up of radiologists, medical physicists, radiologic technologists and other related societies including RSNA, are working toward a primary objective to ensure that all patients’ CT scans are safe and of high quality. These groups, as a collective, are currently working on mandates to assure high quality care of all patients in relation to CT.
Some of the key points that these groups are in general agreement about include:
Discussion and action to improve the safety of CT scanning will continue and should include groups with a shared interest in patient care and safety, including medical professionals in radiology such as radiologists, medical physicists and radiology technologists, as well as other specialties, manufacturers, patients and healthcare regulators such as the FDA.
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RSNA is an association of more than 41,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org).