ACR considers radiation exposure protection steps

July 1, 2007

The American College of Radiology is considering aggressive reforms that would ratchet up its direct involvement in programs and policies designed to protect the public and medical practitioners from ionizing radiation generated during medical imaging.

The American College of Radiology is considering aggressive reforms that would ratchet up its direct involvement in programs and policies designed to protect the public and medical practitioners from ionizing radiation generated during medical imaging.

In April, a blue ribbon panel headed by Dr. Steven Amis, chair of radiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, proposed 33 strategies intended to help control the growth in unnecessary radiation exposure to patients and medical personnel.

If it adopts the proposals, the ACR would for the first time support a standardized way to archive individual patient radiation data documenting exposure during medical imaging. The information would be collected and used by various groups to benchmark good medical practices and to identify patients who have accumulated high levels of radiation from frequent imaging sessions involving exposure to ionizing radiation. The information may be used to determine when alternative imaging should be recommended.

Reforms are directed at radiologists, referring physicians, physicists, manufacturers, insurers, and government regulators. They were published on the ACR website and in the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.