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NCRP Report No. 160 on increased average radiation exposure of the US population
Date:3/3/2009

with automatic exposure control systems that reduce patient dose levels to the minimum necessary for the examination.

In fact, adds McCollough, "The average dose per CT exam has fallen by a factor of 2-3 since the early 1980s. There are simply more people getting CT exams."

The AAPM strongly supports that appropriate utilization standards be applied for all procedures using ionizing radiation. AAPM members contribute to the safety and quality of CT imaging by developing reports such as Dr. McCollough's, which gives the most current standards for CT dose measurement techniques and discusses how facilities can reduce radiation dosages by adjusting the radiation exposure according to each patient's size. Steps like these are taken to ensure the maximum benefit to patients while minimizing their risk. In addition, medical physicists are required to be involved in ACR Accreditation programs, which ensure that radiation exposures are as low as reasonably achievable.

"For an appropriately ordered CT examination, an individual derives much greater benefit than risk," says AAPM past-president Richard L. Morin, Ph.D, FAAPM, FACR, who is a medical physicist and Brooks-Hollern Professor at Mayo Clinic Florida. "Ultimately, people who are scheduled to have CT exams should understand why their doctors have requested the exam if the test will provide information to assist in their medical care, they should not worry about having the exam. There are likely higher risks associated with failing to have a needed medical test, as the correct diagnosis or treatment decision could be delayed or missed."


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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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