A simulation framework to balance radiation induced risk against image quality in radiology
Medical imaging represents the largest source of manmade radiation and is subject to an increasing public awareness. Dose reduction can be achieved by lowering the number of exposures or by lowering the exposure per image. The first part is linked to strictly medical decisions, with justification obligatory for each individual patient. The second part requires ‘optimization’. The Euratom directive 97/43 stipulates that ‘The optimization process shall include the selection of equipment, the consistent production of adequate diagnostic information or therapeutic outcome as well as the practical aspects, quality assurance including quality control and the assessment and evaluation of patient doses or administered activities, taking into account economic and social factors.’ The European medical ALARA network (EMAN) recognized a large variation in doses for nominally the same procedures and made optimization of radiation protection for healthcare workers and patients throughout Europe to its mission (www.eman-network.eu). As far as we know, none of the radiation protection guidance documents have outlined ‘optimization’ in full detail or prepared for practical implementation.
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CandidateSunay Rodríguez Pérez
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