Kalpana Kanal, Ph.D., DABR, leads research study that establishes national dose benchmarks for pediatric CT scans

Kalpana Kanal, Ph.D., DABR, is the lead author of a research paper recently published in the journal Radiology that establishes national dose benchmarks for pediatric CT examinations of the head, abdomen and other anatomy. 

“Taking care of pediatric patients and optimizing doses isn’t a new topic, but these are the first benchmarks that account for both a child’s size and age,” Dr. Kanal, medical physicist and professor of radiology, told the UW Medicine Newsroom. 

Dr. Kanal and colleagues analyzed data from more than 1.5 million pediatric CT examinations submitted to the American College of Radiology’s Dose Index Registry, an archive of millions of image-study doses logged, de-identified and shared by hospitals throughout the nation. 

“One interesting finding was that 57% of our data came from community hospitals, many of which likely don’t have a full-time pediatric radiologist or medical physicist on staff to help with dose-optimizing,” she said. “These guidelines help you dial up or dial down your dose if you don’t have those resources.” 

“The results of the study will enable U.S. and international facilities to compare their patient doses to these benchmarks. Because smaller and younger patients require less radiation to obtain adequate image quality, the new DRLs and ADs will enable facilities to adjust their CT protocols more effectively for the wide range of patient habitus and age commonly seen in the pediatric population,” Dr. Kanal wrote on the American College of Radiology’s VoiceofRadiology blog. 

Dr. Kanal collaborated with colleagues from the American College of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. 

Kalpana Kanal leads research study that establishes national dose benchmarks for pediatric CT scans.

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