Breakthrough formula to reduce medical radiation exposure

22 NOVEMBER 2016

In a medical imaging breakthrough, a CSU scientist has found a way to reduce a patient's exposure to radiation without compromising scan quality.

In a medical imaging breakthrough, a Charles Sturt University (CSU) scientist has found a way to reduce a patient's exposure to radiation without compromising scan quality.

 Dr Xiaoming ZhengSenior lecturer in medical radiation science at CSU's School of Dentistry and Health Sciences, Dr Xiaoming Zheng, has patented a formula to guide the dose of radiation used in X-ray computed tomography, otherwise known as a CT scan.

"There's growing concern about the potential health impacts of accumulated X-ray exposure over time," Dr Zheng said.

"A CT scan produces a number of projection images over 360 degree rotation so the radiation dose is higher than for other scans.

"Scientists and manufacturers across the world have been working to reduce the radiation dose in CT scans without compromising the images produced and consequently its value as a diagnostic tool."

Dr Zheng has developed a mathematical equation to set parameters for radiologists to use in determining the optimal dose of radiation

"The international standards use image 'noise' as an indicator of the image quality but this is not accurate," Dr Zheng said.

"In developing my formula I've used clinical observer based image quality to provide a much more accurate picture of the radiation dose required for different body sizes."

Dr Zheng is also applying his research to X-ray projection radiographic imaging and he believes this could halve the dose of radiation.

"Although there is a much lower dose of radiation in a single projection radiographic image, people are likely to get more of them over a lifetime, so it's important to consider how to reduce this exposure," Dr Zheng said.

"I believe this is a major contribution to radiation science that could fundamentally change the way we approach medical X-ray imaging. It has the potential to significantly reduce radiation doses to patients across the world."

Dr Zheng's research Patient sized based guiding equations for automatic mAs and kVp selections in general medical X-ray projection radiography has been published online in Oxford Journals Radiation Protection Dosimetry. See here.

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews. Dr Xiaoming Zheng,is based at CSU's School of Dentistry and Health Sciences at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Media are invited to interview Dr Zheng and get footage at 11:30am on Wednesday 23 November, meet at car park 11 off Tooma Way at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

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