June 27, 2011

When your doctor recommends that you or your child get an X-ray, CT (cat) scan, or other medical image, you probably want to know more about the procedure and possible risks.

CAMC wants to ease the concerns of patients by implementing new systems designed to produce quality medical images with the lowest amount of radiation exposure necessary.

New software has been installed at General and Memorial hospitals. It will be installed soon at the Imaging Centers in Kanawha City and Southridge and Women and Children's Hospital.

iDose by Philips Healthcare automatically calculates the best technique for each exam to deliver the lowest dose at the optimum image quality.

The hospital's imaging technologists also carefully monitor dosage. Then the image gets run through powerful computer programs and algorithms that are able to reconstruct the image to essentially the same quality as if using the higher dose previously required.

The process allows the machine to acquire an image that is so low dose that without this process it would be too grainy to interpret.

"I am thrilled that we have this technology not just as a physician, but as a parent and possible patient," said Johnsey Leef III, MD, radiologist. "We are now routinely lowering our dose to patients 20 to 60 percent depending on the type of exam performed. These are huge reductions!"

"Medical imaging is becoming an increasingly important clinical tool because it gives us the visual information we need to diagnose medical conditions more precisely, effectively and efficiently. Limiting exposure to radiation during CT and X-ray imaging studies is a top priority," said Tuanya Layton, director, medical imaging, Memorial Hospital and CAMC Imaging Center.

CT (computed tomography) scans show details about bones and other internal organs without having to operate or perform invasive examinations. This information can help doctors diagnose and treat a patient¹s medical condition more quickly and more economically.

"We do everything possible to ensure our patients receive the best care possible when receiving medical imaging services." said Cindy White, director, medical imaging, General and Women and Children's hospitals. "We carefully monitor X-ray dose for each type of exam, to make sure patients are getting the lowest amount of exposure to produce a quality image. We are excited to offer low dose imaging to the community."

Similar low dose software has been in place at CAMC Teays Valley Hospital since early 2010.


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