Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Expert panel addresses safety in medical imaging

02.12.2010
An expert panel convened today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) to discuss medical imaging appropriateness, ionizing radiation from imaging procedures and efforts under way to curb overutilization, decrease radiation dose and educate patients on the risks and benefits of medical imaging.

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!
Further information:
http://www.rsna.org

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht PET identifies which prostate cancer patients can benefit from salvage radiation treatment
05.12.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

nachricht Designing a golden nanopill
01.12.2017 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>