On an average more than half of radiation dose for CT angiography was cut for around 5,000 patients with not notable effect on quality of the image, as a result of a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan-funded project, explained Beaumont Hospitals. The details of the project were published in June 10 issue of JAMA. It involved 15 hospitals working together in a trail muti-centre, considered one of its kind, with cardiologists and radiologists working together side by side.
With 90% success rate in diagnosing heart disease and use in identifying symptoms in low risk patients heart CT angiography, or coronary computed tomography angiography, was mentioned to have only one barrier to its widespread use – the scan’s high dose of ionizing radiation. The project participants were able to reduce the radiation dose by an average of 53.3%, to about the equivalent of three years’ background radiation. This refers to radiation one would get from such sources as sunlight and radioactivity from the earth. Using seven risk-reducing protocols physicians were able to slash radiation doses. This was done, depending on the patients weight, by reducing the area scanned and the power of the scanner. The patient database assembled represents the largest registry in the world of information about coronary CT angiography. The data were collected from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. Beaumont explained that protocols developed for this project could be used by other hospitals to reduce radiation exposure for their patients.