By now most Neuroradiologists are aware of the US Food and Drug Administration notification regarding dangerous levels of radiation exposure produced in one facility while performing CT perfusion. This unfortunate event has been front page material for the media, leading to patient anxiety and, more important, to questions regarding the use of this valuable technique. The facility involved has recently revealed that 260 patients were exposed to high radiation levels; 20% of cases involving the eyes which places these individuals at high risk for cataracts. It should come as no surprise that by the time of this writing, legal action against that facility and the equipment manufacturer have been initiated. Shortly thereafter, in a different facility, a technologist scanned the same region of a child’s head 151 times! Because radiation exposure from diagnostic tests has received considerable notice—even before these 2 incidents—it behooves all of us to employ our equipment judiciously. In many instances, the benefits far outweigh the risks of radiation exposure.
In a timely fashion that only electronic publication allows, Drs. Max Wintermark and Mike Lev, experts on CT perfusion, have put together a wonderful editorial (to appear in the print edition of AJNR, too) and an informative Special Collection on radiation exposure-related articles. Our series of Special Collections is biannual but when we believe that our readers and society constituency need further information, we can rapidly act and deploy educational materials that will keep us all well versed and up-to-date.
Additionally at www.ajnr.org you will be able to find our first podcast. Our podcast editor is Dr. Doug Phillips from Cornell University. This podcast is a group discussion regarding radiation exposure and CT scanning. The group participants are Drs. Wintermark, Lev, Schaefer and Sanelli all experts in this field. Before this podcast was recorded I invited all editorial board members of AJNR to send us their questions in order to assure a balanced point of view. The discussants did a great job trying to address the most important issues.
Listen to the Podcast (opens as a mp3).
View the Special Collection.