Radiological protection in computed tomography and cone beam computed tomography.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has sustained interest in radiological protection in computed tomography (CT), and ICRP Publications 87 and 102 focused on the management of patient doses in CT and multi-detector CT (MDCT) respectively. ICRP forecasted and 'sounded the alarm' on increasing patient doses in CT, and recommended actions for manufacturers and users. One of the approaches was that safety is best achieved when it is built into the machine, rather than left as a matter of choice for users. In view of upcoming challenges posed by newer systems that use cone beam geometry for CT (CBCT), and their widened usage, often by untrained users, a new ICRP task group has been working on radiological protection issues in CBCT. Some of the issues identified by the task group are: lack of standardisation of dosimetry in CBCT; the false belief within the medical and dental community that CBCT is a 'light', low-dose CT whereas mobile CBCT units and newer applications, particularly C-arm CT in interventional procedures, involve higher doses; lack of training in radiological protection among clinical users; and lack of dose information and tracking in many applications. This paper provides a summary of approaches used in CT and MDCT, and preliminary information regarding work just published for radiological protection in CBCT.
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