UK study validates technology for CT radiation dose reduction


Swedish image enhancing software can contribute to cutting radiation induced cancers.

The UK population radiation dose arising from CT scans increased by 39% from 1997 to 2002, and contributes to 47% of the dose from medical exposure. A recent study from Glan Clwyd Hospital (North Wales Medical Physics, North Wales NHS Trust) shows that radiation during computed tomography (CT) scans can be significantly lowered, using new software from SharpView.

“We found that these filters can help reduce CT radiation dose by as much as 30 percent, even on systems which have already been optimised,” said Lynn Bateman, physicist at North Wales NHS Trust.


“The software preserves sharpness, reduces noise and most importantly, gives potential for reduction of CT radiation dose. We believe it is possible to decrease radiation dosage even further with optimisation of the software.”

Bateman is the primary investigator and will present the research at the annual UK Radiological Congress (UKRC) June 8-10 in Manchester. During the study radiologists were asked to rank images according to preference without being given information about doses or application of filters.

“Radiologists preferred filtered images to un-filtered in seven out of the nine data sets,” said Bateman. “This indicates that the diagnostic performance is significantly increased by using the filters.”

The software acts in a way which resembles the functions of human vision. It is based on mathematical algorithms that filter out noise, without affecting the diagnostic image quality, making imaging with lower radiation possible. CT Scans are often the best way to find anatomical changes in the body. This has lead to an increasing demand for CT examination and the usage continues to rise.

“During the past year, CT radiation dose has come under increasing scrutiny and is being debated in the UK,” said Magnus Aurell, President of SharpView. “The adoption of our technology will greatly benefit patients and make hundreds of thousands of CT scans every year much safer.”

Reference: HPA-RPD-001 Ionising Radiation Exposure of the UK Population 2005 Review. S J Watson, A L Jones, W B Oatway & J S Hughes.