Another factor to consider in radiation dosage is the type of CT scanner used. The most common today is the axial CT scanner, which is an older, single-slice design that still provides perfectly usable images.
Explore This IssueAugust 2007
A newer CT scanner is the multidetector CT (MDCT), which increases the efficiency of radiation amount and maximizes the information acquired. And, what Dr. Figueroa called the future in CTs is the flat panel CT, a small unit with very rapid images at very low radiation, but with limited applications.
Depending on the technology we’re using, we’re going to have different values of CT exposure, he said. Right now, the best way to scan patients for a comprehensive examination and low radiation is use of the MDCT. The limitation of the flat panel CT is that soft tissue discrimination is much lower than on the MDCT.
For physicians to become judicious users of technology, Dr. Figueroa said that it is imperative to establish guidelines for appropriate and acceptable CT examinations. In addition, requests for CT scanning must be generated only by qualified medical practitioners. CT examinations should not be repeated without substantial clinical justification. And we have many tools we could use. We need to be good users of those and be able to triage patients toward the correct imaging test, and, if necessary, eliminate inappropriate CT referrals.
©2007 The Triological Society