Radiology Dose Limits for Patients need Further Optimisation: Dr Avinash U Sonawane, Head, Directorate of Regulatory Affairs and Communication

Dr. Avinash Sonawane

Dr Avinash U Sonawane, Head, Directorate of Regulatory Affairs and Communication, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, elucidates advancements in radiology over the century.


Advancements in radiology have decreased the dose limits for patients yet there is a need for further optimization, said Dr Avinash U Sonawane, Head, Directorate of Regulatory Affairs and Communication, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board at the second edition of Elets Radiology and Imaging Summit that focused on ‘Evolution of Radiology: The Future Prospects’.


Dr Sonawane observed it as he reflected on his journey as a regulator in the radiology field. “I have witnessed the efforts made for optimising medical exposure to the patients. If you see the use of imaging in medicine over the last century, radioactivity and X-rays were discovered and invented, which firmly established radiology as a beneficial tool in imaging and therapeutic applications. But, earlier when radiology was practised, several radiation injuries to medical practitioners and patients were reported. Later, evolution happened because dose limits were so high for occupational workers and patients. Due to a lot of advancements in the efficiency of detectors, several image construction algorithms, very good quality assurance programmes, and rapid advancements in the technological parameters, radiology became very safe compared to earlier times.”


While speaking at the panel discussion on ‘Recognising the Role of MRI and CT scan in Growth of Radiology’, he added that radiologists and interventional radiologists were earlier suffered from radiation-related effects due to the use of the X-rays as radiation protection standards were not absent. “As a regulator, I have seen now that after analysis of data and several other radiology injuries data, we have very effective radiology standards. We have the dose limits for occupational workers such as medical practitioners, the public, but we cannot apply the dose limit to the patient as such, because that is what is called medical exposure. So, medical exposure is a very important parameter, which is related to the patients as we see that particularly in radiology when a CT scan is operated, the radiology staff is very safe because we monitor the dose issued by them and monitoring the period is of once in three months. We find that it is the fraction of the dose limit. So, radiology staff and the public are protected, but patients get the maximum dose in CTs. This requires some optimisation. We now have inbuilt optimisation in CT machines, AEC mode, among others, so the dose is less for patients, but still needs optimization, he forwarded his views with his fellow panellists Dr Deepak Patkar, Director, Medical Services, and Head, Department of Radiology, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital; Dr Sanjay Dhawan, Senior Consultant & HoD, Paras Hospitals, and Group Director, Clearmedi Healthcare; Dr Karthik Ganeshan, Consultant Radiology & Imaging, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital; and Dr Geetanjali Nanda, Consultant Radiologist, Mahajan Imaging.

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