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The level of exposure to radiation during medical scans has been on the rise for a number of years, creating increased health risks for patients. Researchers at List, a CEA Tech institute, have developed new indicators to keep the dose of radiation delivered to a patient during a scan to a strict minimum. The first is used to estimate the dose received by the patient as reliably as possible; the second evaluates the quality of the images produced.
The researchers began by developing and validating a model of the scanner at the DOSEO platform so that they could evaluate a breakdown of the distribution of the dose of radiation received by the patient's body during a scan depending on the equipment's characteristics (geometry, movement of the radiation head, etc.). A Monte Carlo method is used to accurately simulate the trajectory and interaction of particles in matter.
Next, a mathematical observer model was used on a torso phantom filled with water and inserts of various shapes and sizes to assess the image quality. A detectability indicator that reflects the capacity to detect or discern a lesion was used for the assessment. The results were compared to an analysis completed by radiologists assisting with the project so that the model could be validated. The model has already been used to correlate an artificial lesion detectability rate with the dose of radiation received by the patient.
Ultimately these advances could provide radiologists with medical imaging methods that successfully limit radiation doses without compromising patient diagnoses.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.