Education lowers dose detecting pulmonary emboli

March 5, 2010

Collaborative educational seminars reduce the number of CT scans and the radiation dose delivered to emergency department patients suspected of pulmonary emboli, according to a study from a New York medical center.

Collaborative educational seminars reduce the number of CT scans and the radiation dose delivered to emergency department patients suspected of pulmonary emboli, according to a study from a New York medical center.

At Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, collaborative educational seminars were held among the radiology, nuclear medicine, and emergency medicine departments about the radiation dose and accuracy of ventilation perfusion scanning (V/Q) and CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA). In addition, emergency department patients with a clinical suspicion of PE underwent chest radiography. If the x-ray was normal, V/Q was recommended, otherwise CTPA was the test of choice.

The number of CT pulmonary angiography tests dropped from 1234 in 2006 to 920 in 2007, according to the study. The number of V/Q scans increased from 745 in 2006 to 1216 in 2007. The radiation was reduced by 20% from 8 mSv in 2006 to 6.4 mSv in 2007, according to the researchers. Results were published in the February issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.