Strategies for reducing radiation dose in CT for pediatric patients: How we do it
Anh-VuNgoMD(Acting Assistant Professor)*Abbey J.WinantMD, MFA(Instructor)†Edward Y.LeeMD, MPH(Associate Professor of Radiology)‡Grace S.PhillipsMD(Associate Professor)* https://doi.org/10.1053/j.ro.2018.02.003
Computed tomography (CT) is a widely available and powerful diagnostic tool. Its use in children has increased over the past two decades, and is now a main contributor to pediatric medical radiation exposure.1 Of primary concern is the potential risk of inducing cancers in children from CT radiation exposure.2 Furthermore, children are considered more susceptible to the effects of medical radiation since their tissues are inherently more radiosensitive, and they have more potential years than adults to manifest the effects from radiation exposure. For these reasons, CT examinations should adhere to the ALARA principle (as low as reasonably achievable) with respect to radiation dose, as advocated by the Image Gently campaign.3
In this article, we review our approach to achieving optimal radiation doses for pediatric CT. First, we briefly address methods of measuring CT dose and the process of patient and protocol selection. Next, we discuss the various CT technical settings and factors that contribute to CT dose and the diagnostic quality of a study. Finally, we focus on newer technologies that assist in reducing radiation dose while maintaining image quality.