Computed tomography (CT) involves significant exposure to X-rays, a source of ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation can be naturally occurring or can be manmade as is the case in CT imaging. All forms of ionizing radiation carry some degree of potential health risk. While these risks cannot be ignored, they must be seen in perspective. When performed appropriately the medical value of CT imaging far outweighs the known risk. Protecting patient safety by careful assessment and minimization of radiation risks is an essential part of our practice.
At Tristán Radiology Specialists we strive to constantly improve our understanding of the risks and benefits of all aspects of medical imaging and in particular the risks posed by ionizing radiation. Given the recent publicity surrounding the possible contribution of CT scans to overall cancer risk, the radiologists at Tristán Radiology Specialists want to emphasize the role that risk assessment and dosage minimization play in our practice.
Patient safety is our highest priority. To maximize patient safety, we undertake measures to provide effective dose monitoring and radiation reduction in CT imaging.
Examples of radiation exposure reduction practices we employ at Tristán Radiology Specialists include but are not limited to:
- shielding of radiosensitve tissues such as the breasts, thyroid gland and eyes,
- dose modulation software incorporated into all our CT scanners which reduces dose per image, and
- dose protocols tailored to our patients.
All our facilities are accredited through the American College of Radiology (ACR). This accreditation involves a rigorous review process to ensure we meet nationally accepted standards. As part of the ACR accreditation process our CT scanners are appropriate for the tests you will receive and our facilities meet or exceed quality assurance and safety guidelines.
In addition we are a proud supporter of Image Gently which is an initiative of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging. Our current pediatric dose protocols are based on age and weight and reflect lower exposure than recommended by the American College of Radiology.
Our radiologic technologists and radiologists at Tristán Radiology Specialists are highly trained and bring many years of experience to CT imaging and patient safety.
We encourage you to speak to your physician, radiologist or radiologic technologist about any safety concerns you may have regarding a proposed or scheduled radiology exam.
Radiation Exposure in X-ray examinations: RadiologyInfo is a site which answers questions about X-rays. This site is maintained by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and
the Radiology Society of North America. This site provides a good chart on effective doses for various radiologic procedures and comparable natural background radiation.
Image Gently is a site dedicted to issues in pediatric imaging, maintained by the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging.
Radiology Safety Resources: This ACR page is a more comprehensive catalog on the subject, including both patient-oriented educational sites, as well as white papers and guidelines for the medical community.
ACR’s response to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine regarding radiation risk in CT imaging.