Collaborative project between Paul Strickland Scanner Centre and Mount Vernon Hospital shows how patients can be spared excess radiation.
CT Mandible Audit
A clinical audit at Paul Strickland Scanner Centre shows it is feasible to reduce the typical radiation dose from a mandible CT scan significantly, while still maintaining good image quality. Keeping the radiation dose as low as possible is important, in order to protect patients from possible side effects.
The centre receives maxillofacial CT requests for cancer and non-cancer conditions from dentists and surgeons who require information about the precise location of the inferior dental canal. Typically, dentists require information about the precise location of impacted wisdom teeth, while surgeons want to understand the true extent of bone destruction by cancer.
The team that carried out the audit consisted of Advanced Radiographer Mrs Suzannah Patel, Dr Subhadip Ghosh-Ray (Consultant Radiologist at Paul Strickland Scanner Centre) and Dr Andrew Shah (Head of Radiation Protection at Mount Vernon Hospital).
Ms Patel said: “These scans are extremely useful to allow visualisation of important anatomy prior to surgery. The proximity between the impacted molar and the inferior dental canal should be assessed to minimise the risk of injury to the inferior alveolar nerve. We were able to reduce the dose by gradually lowering some of the settings on the scanner. An image audit was carried out at every step, to ensure we didn’t miss any vital information and the images were of a high diagnostic quality. Dr Ghosh-Ray used a graded system to score the images.”
The process was stopped once the image quality reached a turning point of being diagnostic at the lowest dose possible without compromising on accuracy.
Ms Patel said: “This valuable piece of work resulted in reducing the dose by 23% whilst still providing very good images. This is great news for our patients”