Johns Hopkins Experts Devise A Way To Cut Radiation Exposure In Children
Baltimore, MD - A team of pediatric neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center has developed a way to minimize dangerous radiation exposure in children with a condition that requires repeat CT scans of the brain. The experts say they reduced exposure without sacrificing the diagnostic accuracy of the images or compromising treatment decisions.
The approach, described ahead of print in a report in the Journal of Neurosurgery, calls for using fewer X-ray snapshots or “slices” of the brain taken by CT scanners seven instead of the usual 32 to 40 slices. The approach, the study found, reduced radiation exposure by an average of nearly 92 percent per patient compared with standard head CT scans, while still rendering the images diagnostically accurate.
“The traditional thinking has been that fewer slices would, by definition, mean less clarity and less accuracy, rendering a CT scan suboptimal, but our findings show otherwise,” says lead investigator Jonathan Pindrik, M.D., chief neurosurgery resident at Johns Hopkins.
The research involved analysis of CT scans of patients with excessive fluid in the brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus that requires periodic fluid-draining surgeries and a head CT before each procedure. The investigators compared two standard CT scans with two limited-slice, low-dose CT scans for each one of 50 children, ages 17 and younger, treated for hydrocephalus over five years at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The standard CT scan images were performed prior to the launch of the new radiation-minimizing protocol. Continue>
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