Reducing Radiation During Heart Scans
Reported February 25, 2010
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — The newest models of CT scanners may reduce radiation exposure by as much as 91 percent during cardiac exams.
A team of researchers compared radiation exposure during a CT scan using a more traditional 64-detector row helical scanner, with volume scanning using a 320-detector row volume scanner. Imaging using the newer, 320-detector scanner reduced radiation exposure by 92 percent on patient models.
Doctors say by imaging the entire heart in one piece, the newer technology eliminates gaps and seams between sections of an image, and the X-ray tube is left on for a shorter period of time. Experts caution that in order to expose patients to less radiation using the newer scanners, practitioners are required to select the appropriate scan mode.
Many cardiac CT exams are still conducted on 64-detector row scanners, which can image 4 centimeters of the heart at a time. The newer 32-detector row volume scanners can image the entire length of the heart in a single rotation and within a single heartbeat.
Source: Radiology, March 2010