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Radiation Protection in Medicine - World View

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In the U.S., when we ask about radiation in medical imaging, we are usually just told not to worry about it. “It’s less radiation than you get flying across the Atlantic.” “The benefits of imaging outweigh the risks.”

All that is true, and yet, we can’t helping worrying a bit.

There are people in the world who take this question very seriously, none more than Dr. Madan Rehani, Director of Radiation Protection at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Rehani and his colleagues have studied the use of radiation in medicine worldwide and are working to optimize its use.

In this interview, Joyce speaks with Dr. Rehani about radiation in medical imaging.

Medical imaging that uses ionizing radiation include Computed Tomography (CT), Mammography, and Fluoroscopy. The first question to ask is: is this the best type of imaging test to use to answer the medical question? Or might another modality that does not use ionizing radiation (such as MRI or Ultrasound) be used instead? Often MRI or Ultrasound will do the job just as well. But there are circumstances where CT is in fact needed:

Dr Rehani talks about the recent advances in standardizing the terminology and calculations used by the various manufacturers of CT machines.

  • CT dose index (CTDI)
  • Dose Length Product (DLP)

giving us standard measures of the radiation delivered to the patient.

And don’t forget to give us your own opinions at http://bit.ly/rpm-safety

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