Computed tomography (CT) is a remarkable diagnostic tool for performing imaging studies across all age groups and anatomic regions of the body. It has dramatically changed how clinical diagnosis is correlated or ruled out. Although there are many benefits of using CT as a diagnostic, interventional, or therapeutic tool, concerns regarding the risks and potential long-term effects associated with increased patient radiation dose continue to emerge. Today, one of the highest priorities on many hospital agendas is to achieve improved control of patient radiation exposure in CT and other diagnostic imaging modalities. This article describes current concerns related to CT radiation dose exposure, how CT dose metrics and parameters affect radiation output, and recommended radiation dose thresholds. Dose reduction and monitoring software for CT will also be discussed, as well as an overview of the regulatory, accreditation, and advisory groups that govern CT radiation dose.
After reading this article, the participant should be able to:
- Describe common dose metric standards and measurements for CT imaging.
- Understand how CT technical parameters, as well as nontechnical factors, affect radiation dose output.
- Discuss CT utilization management, including dose monitoring practices for CT applications and challenges in gathering dose information.
- Explain the underlying principles of dose reduction and dose monitoring software for CT.
Categories: Computed Tomography, Radiation Safety/Protection