Risks Significantly Reduced from Child CT Scans

E-mail Print PDF


Dayton Children’s Hospital has become one of the dozens of hospitals and imaging centers across the nation in applying new scanning technology that significantly reduces doses of potentially cancer-causing radiation.

Radiation exposure stemming from computed tomography (CT) procedures is a major concern in both adults and children. However, radiation in children and infants present various and arduous challenges due to their developing bodies which are more sensitive to the effects of radiation.

According to  the National Cancer Institute the risk for developing a radiation-linked cancer can be much higher for a child than for an adult; with an estimation of as many as 9 million CT scans are conducted yearly on children in the United States. While according to hospital officials, around 3,500 CT scans are performed annually at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

"As pediatric radiologists, we are very aware that radiation exposure has small risks, and that these risks are greatest in children because of their growing cells, small size, and longer life expectancy. Anything we can do to reduce radiation exposure in medical imaging is important, especially in small children,” said director of medical imaging at Dayton Children's, Dr. Elizabeth Ey.

In efforts to reduce radiation doses the hospital has acquired new imaging software called AIDR 3D, which is said to reduce radiation exposure from CT scans as up to 80 percent and still delivering a detailed image. he radiation dose reduction is greatest when imaging the neck, chest, and abdomen, officials reported.child ct scan

"There is a limit to how low a radiation dose can be used and still get a diagnostic image. If the dose is too low, there won't be enough information to make a clear image. The new CT upgrade allows a lower dose than what we have been using thanks to more sophisticated software that can create as clear an image as before with less information and hence less radiation,” said Ey.

“But even with low-dose technology, CT scans should be performed only when necessary to keep radiation doses as low as possible and avoid repeated exposure ,” explained pediatric radiologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and chair of The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging,  Dr. Marilyn Goske.

“CT scans do save lives, but we want to use them wisely," she added.

In order to raise awareness on the issue, the alliance launched an "image gently" campaign in 2007, encouraging doctors and hospitals to commit to lowering radiation doses from imaging scans. More than 22,000 individual doctors and an unidentified number of hospitals have signed onto the pledge, including Dayton Children's.

"What that tells us is that the message is starting to get out there and actually changing patients' care," said Goske.

Dayton Children's also just added two new pulsed fluoroscopy radiology units, which are known to be more sensitive and can take up less than half the radiation to generate a clear image.

Fluoroscopy is a method of "real time' X-ray" that allows radiologists to see movement, rather than one still image, according to a news release. Fluoroscopy is regularly used to view movement during swallowing, to assess for suitable drainage of urine from the bladder, and to assess the position and bowel movement.

"We constantly seek to learn new and better ways to image children, keeping their health and welfare above all else. We consider each child and their condition individually in order to perform the most appropriate imaging study,” said Ey.

These signals are relayed buying clomid online safe which then is by a number of such as medial preoptic and paraventricular nulcei.