One-day workshops reduce radiation dose from CT scans

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | August 04, 2010
Feedback helps.
A one-day workshop helped radiologists in Australia cut radiation dose by nearly half for multi-detector computed tomography scans, although access to medical physicists is critical for the program to work, according to a new study.

After attending a feedback and optimization training workshop provided by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, and supported by the local health department, rads at 10 practices in Queensland, Australia were able to cut radiation dose by as much as 46 percent.

"Our study shows that small group teaching about optimization enabled clinically meaningful dose reduction for a variety of common adult scans," Anthony Wallace, a medical physicist and lead author of the study, said in a statement.
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In the study, researchers first compared data from 1,208 scans of adults performed before the workshop to results from 1,153 scans taken after the workshop.

Average dose reduction after the workshop was 46 percent for brain scans, 28 percent for pulmonary angiograms, 29 percent for lumbar spine scans, and 24 percent for urograms, according to the study.

However, the researchers note that in order to benefit from the workshop, radiologists needed access to medical physicists and help with time-consuming data collection, as well as support from a medical imaging technologist.

"[These] were critical to the success of the program," said Wallace.

The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.