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Mayo Clinic researchers share latest findings in CT radiation dose reduction efforts
Date:8/3/2010

ROCHESTER, Minn. - In recent years, advances in CT scanner technology have made perfusion computed tomography (CT) imaging an important diagnostic tool for patients with suspected stroke. Now, researchers at Mayo Clinic are working to reduce radiation dosages used to acquire perfusion and other CT images. Mayo Clinic medical physicist Cynthia McCollough, Ph.D., and her group of researchers presented their findings related to CT dose reduction at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine on July 20 in Philadelphia. The presentation was entitled "20-Fold Dose Reduction Using a Gradient Adaptive Bilateral Filter: Demonstration Using in Vivo Animal Perfusion CT."

"We believe in the clinical value of perfusion CT, and though there is no documented risk of injury at the currently prescribed radiation levels, we are trying to lower the dose for the benefit of patients," says Dr. McCollough, diagnostic radiologist, Mayo Clinic.

The As Low As Reasonably Achievable, or ALARA, principle has always guided Mayo Clinic's approach to the dosages of radiation used to acquire CT images. Dr. McCollough's team has been experimenting with a newly created image-processing algorithm that produces high-quality perfusion CTs with up to 20 times less the radiation used under existing protocols. Depending on the diagnostic application, a perfusion CT exam takes about 30 seconds to scan the tissue multiple times after iodine has been injected. This technique detects changes in blood volume and flow that reveal injuries to vessels or a tumor's response to treatment. Information from each consecutive scan is then digitally cross-referenced with other images taken during the exam to improve image quality and reduce distortions.

Thus far, the new perfusion CT algorithms have proved effective in animal models, and Dr. McCollough's team has begun looking at ways to introduce the methodologies into clinical practice.

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Contact: Rebecca Finseth
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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