Panel members included James A. Brink, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and co-chairman of the joint Adult Radiation Protection Task Force cosponsored by the RSNA and the American College of Radiology (ACR); William R. Hendee, Ph.D., distinguished professor of radiology, radiation oncology, biophysics and bioethics at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee; and Christoph Wald, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice-chairman of the Department of Radiology at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass., and associate professor of radiology at Tufts University Medical School in Boston. The panel was moderated by Mary C. Mahoney, M.D., professor of radiology and director of Breast Imaging at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and chair of the RSNA Public Information Committee.
"Medical imaging examinations are an invaluable, but complex, set of tools in the diagnosis and treatment of patients," Dr. Mahoney said. "With this panel, we hope to address recent concerns about imaging, clear up some misconceptions regarding risk, and inform the public about what's being done to ensure their safety when undergoing medical imaging exams."
The growth in medical imaging over the past two decades has yielded important and life-saving benefits to patients. Medical imaging has allowed millions of patients to avoid more invasive diagnostic and treatment procedures. However, overutilization of medical imaging examinations can be detrimental to patients by exposing them to unnecessary radiation. Between 1980 and 2006, the annual U.S. population radiation dose from medical procedures increased seven-fold, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.
"Imaging procedures conducted for the wrong reasons contribute to unnecessary costs and radiation exposure to patients," Dr. Hendee said. "Radiology is working to reduce unnecessary procedures, but some of the causes of overutilization are beyond radiology's influence."
Recent reports have drawn attention to the ionizing radiation associated with some imaging procedures, most notably CT. There is general agreement in the radiology community that certain imaging and radiation therapy procedures are associated with risks, which in each patient's case must be weighed against the benefit of the diagnostic information or treatment result one specific procedure may provide. Radiologists and medical physicists continue to work together to improve the safety of imaging exams by lowering radiation dose without sacrificing diagnostic quality. Efforts are also under way to better monitor patients' cumulative radiation exposure from multiple imaging exams over time.
To increase awareness of cumulative radiation dose and other radiation risks and to explore opportunities to improve patient safety through appropriate utilization, quality assurance and dose optimization, RSNA has partnered with the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) to launch the Image Wisely™ initiative. Much like the Image Gently initiative did for pediatric radiology, Image Wisely was developed to educate imaging professionals, referring physicians and the public on the relative benefits and risks of medical imaging.
"Rising concerns about the radiation dose associated with medical imaging have prompted vigorous responses at many levels, but perhaps the most important response has been expanded educational activities focused on radiation dose monitoring and control," Dr. Brink said. "Imaging professionals must pledge to reduce the radiation dose as much as reasonably achievable, to seek accreditation of imaging facilities with careful attention to radiation dose monitoring and control, and to participate in dose registries that will allow imaging practitioners to benchmark their dose levels with peer institutions."
ImageWisely.org, directed at physicians and other medical professionals, was officially launched at RSNA 2010. The website's patient-directed content, which answers common patient questions about risks and benefits of medical imaging procedures, is available along with information on radiation exposure, contrast materials, anesthesia, radiation therapy procedures and other safety concerns on RadiologyInfo.org.
"These websites strive to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date information about radiation safety from expert sources to help patients and their physicians make informed decisions when considering the use of powerful imaging tests which can potentially save lives, help determine whether a therapy is working or avoid an unnecessary surgery," Dr. Wald said.
Note: Copies of RSNA 2010 news releases and electronic images will be available online at RSNA.org/press10 beginning Monday, Nov. 29.
RSNA is an association of more than 46,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)
For patient-friendly information on radiation safety, visit RadiologyInfo.org.
Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
'Memtransistor' brings world closer to brain-like computing
22.02.2018 | Northwestern University
MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies
20.02.2018 | Radiological Society of North America
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy