Informatics in Radiology
RADIANCE: An Automated, Enterprise-wide Solution for Archiving and Reporting CT Radiation Dose Estimates
RadioGraphics 2011; 31:1833-1846
Tessa S. Cook, MD, PhD , Stefan L. Zimmerman, MD , Scott R. Steingall, RT Andrew D. A. Maidment, PhD , Woojin Kim, MD , William W. Boonn, MD
There is growing interest in the ability to monitor, track., and report exposure to radiation from medical imaging. Historically, however, dose information has been stored on an image-based dose sheet, an arrangement that precludes widespread indexing. Although scanner manufacturers are beginning to include dose-related parameters in the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) headers of imaging studies, there remains a vast repository of retrospective computed tomographic (CT) data with image-based dose sheets. Consequently, it is difficult for imaging centers to monitor their dose estimates or participate in the American College of Radiology (ACR) Dose Index Registry. An automated extraction software pipeline known as Radiation Dose Intelligent Analytics for CT Examinations (RADIANCE) has been designed that quickly and accurately parses CT dose sheets to extract and archive dose-related parameters. Optical character recognition of information in the dose sheet leads to creation of a text file, which along with the DICOM study header is parsed to extract dose-related data. The data are then stored in a relational database that can be queried for dose monitoring and report creation. RADIANCE allows efficient dose analysis of CT examinations and more effective education of technologists, radiologists, and referring physicians regarding patient exposure to radiation at CT. RADIANCE also allows compliance with the ACR's dose reporting guidelines and greater awareness of patient radiation dose, ultimately resulting in improved patient care and treatment.