DR summit yields Image Gently CR/DR campaign, ACR dose registry

By Cynthia E. Keen, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

February 22, 2010 -- The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging has expanded the scope of its global Image Gently campaign to include computed radiography (CR) and digital radiography (DR) exams. The new initiative was formally launched -- along with a new American College of Radiology (ACR) DR dose registry -- at a DR summit earlier this month.

The summit, sponsored by the alliance at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, provided a forum to discuss the expanded use of digital radiography in pediatric examinations and develop guidelines to increase safety measures. Nearly 70 radiology professionals and medical imaging experts attended, representing invited medical centers, academic institutions, 12 professional associations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and 10 equipment manufacturers organized through the Medical Imaging Technology Alliance of Arlington, VA.

The CR/DR initiative marks the latest expansion for the Image Gently campaign, which originally launched in January 2008 to promote the optimization of CT radiation dose for children and increase awareness of lower-dose alternative diagnostic imaging exams. Image Gently added interventional radiology to its agenda when it launched the Step Lightly initiative in August 2009.

"The summit is a first step in the expansion of Image Gently to address the most commonly performed imaging procedures," said Dr. Steven Don, an associate professor of radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, who heads the new initiative and organized the summit. "Standard x-rays utilize far less radiation than advanced imaging procedures such as CT, but because they are so commonly performed, present a significant opportunity to document, monitor, and, where appropriate, lower the radiation dose that children receive each year from medical imaging."

The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging represents more than 600,000 healthcare professionals and is comprised of more than 54 professional medical organizations located throughout the world.

Other achievements of the summit included the following:

  • The American College of Radiology in Reston, VA, will work with summit organizers to develop a DR dose registry in the U.S. This new registry will join the CT dose registry in providing feedback to participating practices in optimizing the radiation dose that children in particular, as well as adults, receive each year from imaging studies.

  • The American Association of Physicists in Medicine in College Park, MD, and the International Electrotechnical Commission, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, agreed to create a unified standard for CR and DR exposure indexes. A unified standard would help providers deliver appropriate radiation dose for each procedure and simplify the process of recording the dose in a patient's electronic medical record.

    Currently, different equipment manufacturers are using various exposure indexes. This can lead to confusion when a variety of equipment is being used at a healthcare facility.

  • Educators and equipment manufacturers agreed to collaborate to develop more educational materials for radiologic technologists. Dr. Susan John, chair of radiology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, will head the new digital radiography educational workgroup.

"The summit was a very successful first step in educating radiologists, radiologic technologists, medical imaging physicists, the FDA, and manufacturers of digital radiography equipment about the unique problems faced by those using this equipment for children's imaging in daily practice," said Dr. Marilyn Goske, chair of the alliance and a radiology professor at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. "The alliance looks forward to continued work with all medical professionals, educators, and vendors in moving forward to ensure that pediatric patients receive only the necessary dose and that there are consistent, reliable protocols in place to help achieve this goal."

By Cynthia E. Keen
AuntMinnie.com staff writer
February 22, 2010

Image Gently campaign expands to interventional radiology, August 24, 2009

Image Gently organizers look ahead on one-year anniversary: Part 1, February 9, 2009

Image Gently campaign targets parents for 2009 initiative, February 3, 2009

AAPM approves Image Gently work group agenda, December 23, 2008

Copyright © 2010 AuntMinnie.com


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