New Radiation Shielding Superior to Lead for CT Scans

October 27, 2011

New custom-designed patient shielding devices should supplant traditional lead aprons for chest CT scans - and possibly every scan, regardless of body part. That’s according to the authors of a new study published in the British Journal of Radiology.

New custom-designed patient shielding devices should supplant traditional lead aprons for chest CT scans - and possibly every scan, regardless of body part. That’s according to the authors of a new study published in the British Journal of Radiology.

Medical physicist Gareth Iball, MSc, and colleagues at the Leeds General Infirmary used dosimeters to measure radiation levels throughout the abdomen and pelvis during chest CT scans of a RANDO phantom. Dose measurements were made with no shielding, with lead aprons and with the new shield around the abdomen and pelvis to quantify the achievable organ and effective dose reductions.

With the new out-of-plane shielding devices in place, Ball and colleagues measured “significant dose savings” throughout the abdomen and pelvis. All told, the new shielding provided effective dose saving of 4 percent over that obtained through conventional lead aprons.

“This could yield significant population dose savings and reductions in collective radiation risk,” the authors wrote.