Low Dose CT
CT is an x-ray imaging technique, which presents body structures in three dimensions. The information content of a CT scan is extensive, allowing in many instances, a more accurate diagnostic assessment of patient health than is possible from other imaging techniques.
The dose of radiation that is used for a CT scan is small and varies from patient to patient depending on their size and the body part that is being scanned. However, the radiation does is higher than that with an x-ray. The risks are small compared to the benefit of an accurate diagnosis. Experts disagree about the level of radiation that is considered to be safe. However, it is the accumulation of radiation over a long period of time that may cause concern.
According to W. R. Hedrick, PhD, FACR, a certified radiation expert for the state of Ohio, Calculations based on conservative models have predicted that the radiation does in CT scans will cause some patients to develop cancer but increased cancer rates have not been observed in people who have had CT scans. An appropriately ordered CT scan can confirm the presence or absence of disease or injury, which is an enormous benefit to that individual patient. A medically indicated CT exam should never be excluded based solely on the radiation risk estimation.
Hospitals use routine quality control programs to monitor CT performances, image quality and radiation dose. Wooster Community Hospital has acquired new software that can reduce the amount of radiation used in a CT scan.
Clarity CT Solutions is a new technology that effectively reduces the dose of radiation that is needed for patient CT scans by up to 40% without impacting quality. This software enhances the diagnostic quality of images produced by lower radiation scans based on settings optimized by the radiologist. The software acts like a photo editing program in that it takes images that are taken at the lower dose radiation and enhances them creating remarkably clear images.
CT scans are a necessary diagnostic tool for the accurate diagnosis of disease and injury. These scans can detect bleeding in the brain, an injured spinal cord, and cancer - just to name a few. CT scans are very valuable for trauma situations when seconds count.
For more information, contact the Imaging Department at Wooster Community Hospital at 330-263-8660.