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Patient safety highlights American Association of Physicists in Medicine
Date:7/15/2010

reasing number of these calls coming her way, Tonkopi was prepared to answer them. "If patients are worried," she says. "They need to hear from somebody who can provide them with information." All the radiologists, technologists and medical physicists in her department are conscious of radiation exposures, she adds, and they all support strategies aimed at reducing dose.

In fact, when the calls started coming in, she was just completing a project with her colleagues Dr. Andrew Ross and Anita MacDonald to increase safety for patients by optimizing and lowering the CT radiation dose that patients receive while undergoing PET/CT examination -- a common procedure for cancer staging

Today at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) in Philadelphia, Tonkopi will describe the results of that effort. Using nothing but available techniques for protocol optimization provided by the manufacturer, her department gradually lowered the average CT dose for patients undergoing PET/CT by about one third (32 percent) without sacrificing image quality -- something that can suffer if dose is lowered too much.

"It was interesting to compare the studies of the patients who had examinations before and after this optimization," Tonkopi said, calling the results "encouraging." She added that they may lead other institutions to follow suit. Before beginning the optimization experiment, her colleague Dr. Ross, who is Division Head Nuclear Med at Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center, contacted several other medical centers in Canada that offer PET/CT and found that they expected about the same level of dose for the same procedures.

The presentation "CT Radiation Dose Optimization in Whole-Body PET/CT Examination by E Tonkopi, A Ross, and A MacDonald will be at 5:10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in Room 201C of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

ABSTRACT:

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

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