Radiologists looking at CT scans of a patient (symbolic photo)
Radiologists looking at CT scans of a patient (symbolic photo)

Image source: Pexels/MART PRODUCTION

News • Patient safety

Reducing radiation exposure through better CT justification

A new project for radiation exposure reduction aims to improve justification of computed tomography (CT) in Europe through co-ordinated action.

For this, the European Society of Radiology has been awarded the European Commission Tender ‘European co-ordinated action on improving justification of computed tomography’ (acronym: EU-JUST-CT). The project started on 7 April 2021 and will last until March 2024. The formal kick-off meeting with the European Commission took place on 20 May 2021. The project is led by Prof. Boris Brkljacic (University of Zagreb School of Medicine, HR) and co-led by Ms. Alexandra Karoussou-Schreiner (Ministry of Health, LU).

Project objectives:

  1. Collect up-to-date information about justification of CT examinations in Europe.
  2. Develop a common methodology for auditing justification of CT examinations.
  3. Carry out co-ordinated pilot audits of justification of CT examinations in a minimum of five different European countries.
  4. Discuss the status of justification of CT examinations with the Member States and identify opportunities for further action.

Justification of medical exposures in Europe is a highly important and timely topic, and justification of CT imaging is of paramount importance and in the focus of medical professional societies, radiation protection authorities and the European Commission. Pediatric imaging is especially important in this regard.

The significant level of inappropriate use of medical exposures was demonstrated in many studies, including those performed by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (2009) “Report of a consultation on justification of patient exposures in medical imaging”. In several European countries national audit studies on appropriateness of CT and MRI examinations were performed, with different results, and the ESR is strongly promoting dissemination and use of imaging referral guidelines.

Recommended article

Photo

Article • 'Is it safe?'

Effective communication on radiation risks

Communicating radiation risks is not only a legal requirement, it is also a moral obligation, asserts Dr Shane J Foley, radiographer and assistant professor at the UCD School of Medicine in Dublin, Ireland. Passing on radiation information has its pitfalls, but several helpful tools can improve communication, some of which the expert highlighted during ECR 2018.

ESR iGuide, ESR’s European evidence-based imaging referral guidelines embedded in a Clinical Decision Support (CDS) environment will be used as the standard against which the CT referrals will be audited during the project. Several successful pilot projects using ESR iGuide in Europe and beyond have already demonstrated significant improvements in appropriateness.

Following the formal kick-off meeting with the European Commission, the concrete next steps of this project will be: 

  • To carry out a survey among national competent authorities and national radiology societies to enquire about current practices around CT justification, including the use of referral protocols, and whether an audit of justification of CT procedures has been performed in their countries.   
  • To discuss the methodology for CT justification audits with the countries/regions that have expressed interest and to start recruitment of auditors.  

This project is another important milestone for ESR and its collaborative work with other organisations, including its national and subspecialty societies, professional societies of related disciplines, radiation protection regulators, and ministries of health, to promote and enhance compliance with the European Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom – Basic Safety Standards (BSS Directive), and support improvement of justification.


Source: European Society of Radiology

23.05.2021

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Article •

Aquilion ONE next generation from Toshiba

The ‘world’s best scanner’ just got even better. While Toshiba Medical Systems’ Aquilion ONE has impressed radiologists in recent years further enhancements and technical innovations have…

Photo

Article • The role of the radiographer

AI in radiation protection: a potential game changer

Radiographers could help design new artificial intelligence (AI) tools for radiation protection, Mark McEntee, professor of diagnostic radiography at University College Cork, Ireland, argued during…

Photo

Article • MEDIRAD project

Increasing the protection from medical radiation

A Europe-wide project aims to improve medical radiation protection for patients and staff by better understanding and evaluating the health effects of exposure to low-dose ionising radiation…

Related products

Dunlee - 3D printed pure tungsten anti-scatter grids

Accessories / Complementary Systems

Dunlee - 3D printed pure tungsten anti-scatter grids

Dunlee – Philips Medical Systems DMC GmbH
MinFound – ScintCare CT128

Volume CT

MinFound – ScintCare CT128

MinFound Medical Systems Co., Ltd
Nexus/Chili – Diagnost

Reading

Nexus/Chili – Diagnost

Nexus/Chili GmbH
RTI Group – Piranha

Testing Devices

RTI Group – Piranha

RTI Group
Swissray - Cortex Protection Software

Utilities / Add-ons

Swissray - Cortex Protection Software

Swissray Technologies AG
AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT – nu:view

Mammo CT

AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT – nu:view

AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT GmbH
Subscribe to Newsletter