Lowest Radiation Dose CT - Now at RIA!

Posted on: 09/21/2011

Valuable Imaging Technology with the Newest Dose Reduction Capabilities

CT is a valuable diagnostic imaging tool that has clearly improved the timeliness of diagnosis and treatment, reduced cancer fatalities and improved the quality of life for those patients.  Widespread and increasing use of CT however, has resulted in greater radiation exposure for patients.  Generally, risks of radiation used in medical imaging are very small and the clinical benefits far outweigh the risks.  Nevertheless, Radiology Imaging Associates, in conjunction with professional organizations such as the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society for Pediatric Radiology, is committed to keeping radiation exposure as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). 

This ALARA goal of using the least amount of radiation to obtain necessary diagnostic quality images has driven RIA to acquire the latest CT technology available that minimizes the radiation dose and improves image quality.  RIA is the first in Loudoun County and in Southern Maryland to offer the most advanced dose reduction technology for CT!

• RIA is the first imaging provider in the U.S.A. to acquire and install the new Hitachi SCENARIA 64-slice CT System for our Prince Frederick office. 
• In our other imaging centers, we have upgraded to 64-slice scanners and installed the 4th generation iDose technology from Philips Medical Systems. 

All of RIA’s 64-slice CT scanners now employ the newest dose reduction features including dose modulation, and iterative reconstruction, the newest technology which can significantly reduce radiation exposure while maintaining outstanding image quality.  Simply put, this technology provides a better method of image processing that removes image noise in the x-ray image projection data so that less dose is needed to produce better images.

RIA’s Efforts to Limit Radiation Exposure

RIA is committed to ensuring that our patients receive only the minimum amount of radiation needed to obtain quality images essential to a proper diagnosis.

• Our radiologists are certified by the American Board of Radiology and have extensive training on techniques to minimize radiation exposure for patients.
• Our imaging equipment is the newest and most advanced technology available
• We have been awarded accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR)
• RIA only employs registered and licensed imaging technologists with expertise and training in radiation safety under the supervision of imaging physicians.  Many of our technologists have advanced CT registry credentials.  RIA supports local and national efforts to ensure that only trained imaging specialists and operators administer radiation procedures. 
• We utilize dedicated pediatric protocols that are size and age based to control dose to our most radiation sensitive patients.
• Independent medical physicists review our CT protocol and dose data regularly to validate appropriate parameters.
• Our radiologists are available to consult on the appropriate use of CT and other imaging procedures to ensure that the right procedure is performed for the clinical concern and to guide clinical decision making using resources such as the ACR’s Appropriateness Criteria.
• RIA participates in the “Image Gently” campaign, an initiative of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging whose goal is to increase awareness of the opportunities to lower radiation dose in the imaging of children.
• We ensure appropriate screening for pregnancy before radiologic testing.
• We have introduced bismuth shielding for further reduction in dose to female breast tissue during CT chest exams.
• RIA is registered to participate in the ACR Dose Index Registry to allow comparison of facility clinical dose data to regional and national registry data, and to allow development of national dose benchmark indices. 

More about the Technology

RIA’s CT scanners have for many years utilized available dose reduction technology such as Intellibeam Technology, Dose Right ACS (Automatic Current Selection), D-Dom, Z-Dom, ECG gated dose modulation, etc.  Many scanners in operation elsewhere have none of these dose reduction capabilities. 

• IntelliBeam filtration is used to prevent unnecessary dose through absorption of unwanted x-rays.
• DoseRight provides for automatic exposure calculation of best technique, lowest possible dose with desired image quality by evaluating the body part size and density throughout the scan and modulating the x-ray output so we are using the lowest output that will provide quality imaging.

RIA is now the first imaging provider in the area to provide the newest and most advanced dose reduction technology, “4th generation iDose” and “Intellibeam IP.”  This 4th generation dose reduction technology surpasses all prior generation iterative reconstruction techniques and is a total shift from the conventional filtered back projection processing that has been the standard for over 20 years.  Simply put, these technologies provide a better method of image processing that removes image noise in the x-ray image projection data so that less dose is needed to produce better images.

Patient Safety and Educational Resources

• About Radiation Dose: provides a video explaining dose from different procedures:

• Dose Record: RIA is mindful of total radiation exposure to each patient from past, current and possibly future imaging.  Imaging history is reviewed to alert radiologists to consider proper or alternative procedures or substitute lower dose exams.  Patients are integral in this effort.  Patients may wish to keep track of their procedure history.  A good tool for this is the pocket dose record from the Society for Pediatric Radiology. 

• X-ray Risk Calculators: To help patients weigh the risks and benefits of imaging procedures, dose estimates are available using comparative risks and a dose calculator.

• ACR Radiation Safety page:

• Image Gently is an educational and awareness campaign created by the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, and provides good information for parents.

• Image Wisely: This initiative is focused on raising awareness of opportunities to eliminate unnecessary examinations and to lower the amount of radiation used in exams for adults.

• National Cancer Institute website on radiation safety:


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