Pediatric Imaging Departments Use Lower Dose for CT

May 1, 2012

Dedicated pediatric departments and technologists may adhere closer to protocols for pediatric CT scans.

Using dedicated pediatric imaging departments and equipment for pediatric CT scans significantly reduces the patient’s radiation dose, researchers found.

For a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, researchers reviewed abdominal and pelvic CT console dose and exposure parameter data on 495 patients from a combined pediatric and adult radiology department, as well as 244 patients from a pediatric radiology department. Patients were divided into weight categories.

Researchers found a “significant decrease” in the estimated effective dose for studies in all but one weight category in the dedicated pediatric department.

Dedicated pediatric departments and technologists may adhere closer to pediatric protocols, said lead author Heather L. Borders, MD.

“The use of protocols with adjusted exposure parameters for pediatric patients on the basis of child size, organ system scanned and the size of the region scanned is most notable. However, compliance with these protocols can be challenging for technologists, particularly when scanning a combination of adult and pediatric patients,” she said.

Borders added that departments that scan both children and adults may need greater scrutiny of pediatric CT protocols.