TH-AB-207A-04: Assessment of Patients’ Cumulative Effective Dose From CT Examinations




The Joint Commission requires institutions to consider patient's age and recent imaging exams when deciding on the most appropriate type of imaging exam. Additionally, knowing patient's imaging history can help prevent duplicate scans. Radiation dose management software affords new opportunities to identify and utilize patients with high cumulative doses as one proxy for subsequent review of imaging history and opportunities in avoiding redundant exams.


Using dose management software (Radimetrics, Bayer Healthcare) a total of 72073 CT examinations performed from Jan 2015 to Jan 2016 were examined to categorize patients with a cumulative effective dose of 100 mSv and above. This threshold was selected based on epidemiological studies on populations exposed to radiation, which demonstrate a statistical increase of cancer risk at doses above 100 mSv. Histories of patients with highest cumulative dose and highest number of exams were further investigated by a Radiologist for appropriateness of recurrent studies and potential opportunities for reduction.


Out of 34762 patients, 927 (2.7%) were identified with a cumulative dose of 100 mSv and above. The highest cumulative dose (842 mSv) belonged to an oncology patient who underwent 2 diagnostic exams and 9 interventional ablative CT guided procedures. The patient with highest number of exams (56 counts) and cumulative dose of 170 mSv was a 17 year old trauma patient. An imaging history review of these two patients did not suggest any superfluous scans.


Our limited pilot study suggests that recurrent CT exams for patients with oncologic or severe trauma history may be warranted and appropriate. As a result, for future studies we will be focusing on high dose patient cohorts not associated with oncology or severe trauma. Additionally, the review process itself has suggested areas for potential improvement in patient care, including improved documentation and Radiologist involvement in patient management.

Dr. McNitt-Gray's disclosures: Institutional research agreement, Siemens Healthcare; Past recipient, research grant support, Siemens Healthcare; Consultant, Toshiba America Medical Systems; Consultant, Samsung Electronics.