Quoting the words of Jakub Mochon, CT product manager at Siemens Medical Solutions, let us state that “the U.S. health system is very dependent on CT”, it is absolutely evident (Dargan, 2009/2010, p.30). According to the data provided by McCollough et. al., the usage of CT scans has increased dramatically. You cannot get away from facts; the same authors provide eloquent statistical data, they mention 13 million CT scans in the USA in 1990, in contrast to 46 million CT scans in 2000, and 62 million CT scans in 2006 (McCollough, 2009, p. 27). Wide usage of CT scanners in contemporary medicine and the potential risk of cancer provoked by it, account for numerous efforts of reduction of radiation to patients. The potential benefit of CT scans surpasses the potential risks.
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The use of x-rays can result in small, “but not zero”, risk to the people (The American Association of Physicists in Medicine, n. d., para. 12). If we take into account that there are certain categories of patients that need specific dose reduction strategies, such as pregnant and pediatric patients, the necessity of reduction of radiation dose received during a CT scan, becomes evident. Along with the attempts to reduce radiation exposure of available CT scanners, such as the change of the position of the x-ray tube and the change of the default scan parameters (“Several Small Steps”, n.d., para. 8-9), the introduction of innovative CT scanners that reduce radiation to patients is necessary.
Passing on to the topic of future CT scanners and techniques, such invention of Philips as iDose should be mentioned. IDose is an innovative technique of reconstruction that “reprocesses the raw CT data” and makes 80 percent dose reduction possible, still maintaining “diagnostic image quality” (Dargan, 2009/2010, p.30). The company plans to begin shipping the technique application in 2010.
One more example of reduction of radiation to patients is IRIS, or Iterative Reconstruction in Image Space, the technology aimed at the reconstruction of raw data, which will be introduced by Siemens. As it is stated officially, IRIS will provide the opportunity of reduction of radiation by 60 percent. The same focus on raw data that ensures radiation reduction is typical of Toshiba’s 160-slice Aquilion Premium scanner that ensures 50 percent radiation reduction. Still, it preserves the image quality. Besides, Aquilion Premium guarantees minimization of a patient’s exposure that is not necessary and the reduction of radiation dose up to 20 percent.
In contrast with the three technologies mentioned above, which are common due to their focus on raw data, there is one more approach to radiation reduction, a statistical approach used by GE Healthcare in Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction, or ASIR, software (Dargan, 2009-2010, p.31). The amount of radiation reduction provided by it varies from 22 to 66 percent depending on the analysis of statistical information about the patient that is available. Besides, the software is able to store information about the patients that will be useful in the process of treatment.
Drawing a conclusion, it is possible to state that the innovative technologies in the sphere of medicine concerning CT scanners are really up and coming. Wide use of CT scans justifies financing and intense research aimed at the creation of new technologies that will ensure radiation reduction to patients. Such authoritative names in the field as Siemens, Toshiba, and Philips promise effective innovations in CT scanning technologies.
Dargan, R.S. (2009/2010). Vendors Promote CT Dose Reduction. ASRT Scanner, 30-32.
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McCollough, C.H., Primak, A.N., Braun, N., Kofler, J., Yu, L., & Christner J. (2009). Strategies for Reducing Radiation Dose in CT. Radiol Clin North Am, 47(1), 27-40.
Several Small Steps Can Reduce Radiation Dose from Survey Scans. 2010. Web.
The American Association of Physicists in Medicine. AAPM Response in Regards to CT Radiation Dose and its Effects. 2010. Web.