MITA Smart Dose for Computed Tomography (CT)

The MITA Smart Dose standard identifies four key CT equipment features that enable optimization of radiation dose delivery without compromising the quality images necessary for an accurate diagnosis. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and patient health organizations Image Gently and Image Wisely applauded MITA’s announcement of this important standard.

Automatic Exposure Control
Clinicians conducting an imaging scan focus on adjusting radiation dose to the individual patient’s anatomy to achieve the necessary image quality. Yet, manually adjusting the exposure to each individual patient and exam is challenging in the daily clinical routine. Automatic Exposure Control (AEC) automatically adjusts the amount of radiation within pre-established bounds to achieve the image quality specified by the health care provider. Proper use of AEC technology can lead to radiation dose reductions of 40 percent or more for some patients.

Pediatric and Adult Reference Protocols
CT pediatric and adult reference protocols are predetermined parameters that can be selected by the CT equipment operator, in order to better tailor the amount of radiation dose received by the patient to the specific exam and clinical question. Manufacturers develop these parameters based on their knowledge of the equipment’s specific performance characteristics combined with research conducted by medical physicists and physicians. For example, these parameters enable clinicians to adjust settings to ensure an infant receives less dose than an adult for the same exam type.

Dose Check
CT Dose Check technology informs equipment operators prior to a scan when an equipment setting would likely exceed dose thresholds established by the provider. This automatic check incorporates two different levels of warnings to CT operators, allowing clinicians to confirm correct settings prior to a scan and avoiding unnecessarily high levels of radiation dose to the patient.

DICOM Dose Structured Reporting
The Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) device communication standard is used by imaging systems to communicate data between the scanner and the connected computer systems. DICOM Structured Reporting (DICOM SR) produces standardized, interoperable reports from each CT scanning system, listing the amount of ionizing radiation emitted per scan. This software allows dose information to be included in the patient record and enables facility dose management and quality assurance. Adoption of this technology also makes possible the establishment of national dose reference levels through systematic collection of dose information from CT equipment across the country.

 

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