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CT Technique Reduces Children's Radiation Exposure

Researchers say technique preserves image quality and may reduce lifetime cancer risk

TUESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- In children who undergo abdominal computed tomography (CT), the radiation dose can be reduced 60 percent by lowering the tube current to account for body symmetry and weight, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society in Vancouver, Canada.

Soroosh Mahboubi, M.D., of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues reviewed the abdominal CTs of 74 children.

The researchers found that modulating the tube current to account for body symmetry allowed them to reduce the radiation dose by 15 percent over the usual weight-adjusted dose. They also found modulating the tube current to account for body symmetry and weight allowed them to reduce the radiation dose by an average of 60 percent.

"CT is a large source of radiation exposure in medical practice for children," Mahboubi said in a statement. "Although CT scans represent about 5 percent of all X-ray imaging, the radiation from CT is 40 percent to 67 percent of all medical radiation. By using the above technique, we can decrease the level of radiation risk to children, while still maintaining acceptable image quality. This is especially important because children have a longer lifetime in which to manifest radiation-related cancer."

Abstract (#093)

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