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Computed Tomography (CT) is widely recognized as a very useful diagnostic tool in children as well as adults. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of pediatric CT scans performed in the United States. This increase in radiation exposure has lead to public health concerns. Although the effects of low-level radiation exposure are uncertain, it is generally assumed that there is no safe ”threshold” and that radiation doses in medical imaging should be kept as low as possible.
The Image Gently Alliance is a coalition of multiple organizations, including the American College of Radiology and the American Academy of Pediatrics. “The goal of the alliance is to raise awareness about the need to adjust the radiation dose when imaging children, essentially to ‘child-size’ the exposure,” says Carl L. Schultz, M.D., F.A.C.R., the Medical Director of the Radiology at San Antonio Community Hospital.
The Toshiba Aquilion 64-slice scanner and the Marconi MX 8000 scanner at San Antonio Community Hospital were recently tested by medical physicists. “Our pediatric CT protocols were found to meet or exceed the recommendations for dose reduction recommended by the Image Gently Alliance,” says Dr. Schultz. He adds, “When patients are referred to San Antonio Community Hospital for CT examinations, quality images are obtained with appropriate radiation exposures.”