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Reducing radiation: Heart Institute model shows hope for new standards worldwide
Date:10/30/2012

Toronto, October 29, 2012 The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is setting the stage in what could become a revolution in medical imaging in Canada as it announces striking results in radiation reduction for the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. The announcement comes as UOHI is currently showcasing its expertise at the 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Toronto.

As a result of an initiative that combines optimizing test protocols, state-of-the art equipment, and high-tech software, two-thirds of the Ottawa Heart Institute's Nuclear Cardiology patients are currently receiving half the radiation dosage that they would normally get. Radiation reduction techniques have been achieved across all types of radiation-based cardiac imagingnuclear, CT and PET. The Heart Institute is one of only a handful of centres in Canada with the in-house expertise to evaluate and clinically apply such advances across these technologies. UOHI is confident that all of its patients will receive lower amounts of radiation, and even less by early next year.

The American Society for Nuclear Cardiology has challenged the nuclear cardiology community to reduce radiation exposure below 9 millisieverts (mSv) by 2014. The techniques being employed at the Heart Institute regularly reduce exposure to 5 mSv, and often much less, putting UOHI well ahead of the game. This figure has not bottomed out as efforts will continue to minimize radiation wherever possible.

"Our clinicians are taking a much more critical look at who they are testing with radioactive methods and making decisions based upon risk and necessity which will only expose patients to radiation who truly need the test," said Dr. Benjamin Chow, Co-Director of Cardiac Radiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. These responsible practices, along with a judicious use of technology, could revolutionize cardiac imaging in Canada."

The benefits of this effort include red
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Contact: Vincent Lamontagne
vlamontagne@ottawaheart.ca
613-899-6760
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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