Image Gently alliance pushes pediatric radiation dose standards

August 22, 2008

In a breakthrough for pediatric radiology, the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging hosted the first pediatric CT vendor summit aimed at the standardization of radiation dose settings and display language for pediatric CT scanners.

In a breakthrough for pediatric radiology, the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging hosted the first pediatric CT vendor summit aimed at the standardization of radiation dose settings and display language for pediatric CT scanners.

"Children are not just smaller adults. Their bodies are different and require a different approach to imaging. The purpose of this summit is to work with the vendors to institute a different method to base estimates of radiation dose captured at the time of the CT scan," said Dr. Marilyn Goske, alliance chair and past president of the Society for Pediatric Radiology. "This summit is an example of how all imaging stakeholders can work together to ensure that our youngest patients everywhere receive the safe, effective imaging care that they deserve."

The alliance was founded by the SPR, the American College of Radiology, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. It represents about a half-million medical professionals. Last January, it launched the Image Gently campaign to raise awareness about the need to child-size radiation doses from pediatric CT scans to reduce the possible harmful effects of cumulative radiation exposure over time.

The summit took place Aug. 20 at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. It was the first formal step in the Image Gently effort to foster increased collaboration between providers and imaging manufacturers to produce scanners with common dose estimation settings and display language. Alliance members seek to enable providers, including technologists, to perform CT scans more consistently with dose estimates appropriate for children.

"Medical imaging stakeholders need to work together to make sure that imaging protocols keep pace with rapidly advancing technology. This is particularly true regarding the imaging of children," said Dr. Donald P. Frush, chair of the ACR Commission on Pediatric Imaging.

The summit featured presentations by representatives from the alliance as well as the FDA and the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance. Representatives from every major medical imaging manufacturer also attended.

The alliance has grown to include 26 organizations since the Image Gently campaign launch. More than 1400 imaging providers have taken the Image Gently pledge to reduce the radiation dose used in the performance of pediatric CT scans. The campaign has been honored by a Congressional resolution and nominated for a National Quality Forum award.

Radiologists and other imaging providers can find the pledge and more campaign information at the Image Gently website.

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

Emergency room CT scanning of teenagers skyrockets

Image Gently alliance seeks to reduce pediatric CT radiation dose

Pediatric CT dose reduction strategies get global focus

Contrast ultrasound proves as accurate as CT for assessing abdominal trauma in children