CT is associated with relatively high radiation exposure of patients and a significant contribution to the population dose. It yields in Europe 30-40% of the collective dose due to diagnostic radiology while representing only 3-6% of all x-ray examinations. The latest developments in CT, in particular the introduction of sub second multislice scanning, have had a great impact on medical care and radiation protection. CT now allows for scanning large volumes and for scanning the same body part several times within a short time span. The reduction of movement artefacts with modern scanners is particularly beneficial in paediatric CT and ECG-gated or triggered cardiac CT. Isotropic 3D imaging and nowadays allows for better visualisation of pathology. The consortium will perform original research from which innovations, new findings and practical guidelines for safety and efficacy of CT will result. The main focus of the research will be on improving radiation safety standards in Europe in relation to justification and optimisation of computed tomography, thereby contributing also to the cost effectiveness of health care. Justification of CT should be achieved for specific clinical problems taking into account the efficacy, (radiation) safety and costs of CT. It also implies that use of alternative imaging modalities are considered such as projection radiography, ultrasound and MRI. The clinical implementation of CT, once justified, should be optimised to achieve good diagnostic sensitivity with an associated radiation exposure of the patient that is as low as reasonably achievable. This can be achieved by optimisation of CT acquisition parameters, CT reconstruction parameters, the scanned volume and contrast enhancement. Automatic exposure control for CT, interventional CT, cardiac CT, paediatric CT and CT dosimetry will be topics of special focus for the research. Results will be disseminated through publication of reports, papers and a website on the Internet.
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project