Less Risk, More Cure—Even for the Tiniest Patients

Powerful new tools reduce radiation risk and improve diagnostic accuracy.

Did You Know…

CT scans, the key to diagnosing diseases and abnormalities in millions of people each year, carry especially high radiation risk for infants and small children? A study published in JAMA Pediatrics estimates that 4,870 future cancers could be caused by the four million pediatric CT scans performed each year. Based on their calculations, the study’s authors suggest that reducing the highest 25 percent of radiation doses to the median (midpoint) may prevent 43 percent of these cancers. Now iDose*, an innovation in CT imaging from Philips Healthcare, is allowing doctors to get fast, high-quality results while managing the radiation dose delivered. By personalizing CT scanning, iDose is providing big benefits to small patients.

The Challenge

Physicians were puzzled when treating an infant with respiratory distress at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. “Every time they tried to remove the artificial breathing tube, the baby would get into trouble,” says Dr. Sheila Berlin, pediatric radiologist, adding that X-rays failed to show a clear cause of the problem. The high radiation risk associated with CT scans for children made doctors hesitant to use CT technology to diagnose the condition.

“CT technology has been one of the most significant innovations in modern medicine,” explains Dr. Berlin. “It allows us to diagnose and manage diseases and abnormalities in millions of kids and adults.” Unfortunately, she adds, CT scans have historically also carried one of diagnostic medicine’s highest radiation risks—especially for children, who are more radiosensitive than adults. In the past, boosting image quality required lengthening exposure times and increasing the risk of radiation exposure. Long exposures often also required sedation, especially for wiggling children.”

Fortunately, the doctors had another diagnostic tool at hand—an advanced type of computerized tomography (CT) technology developed by Philips Healthcare. By combining the Philips iCT scanner with the iDose, the doctors were able to acquire highly detailed images of the baby’s internal body structures, while managing the patient’s radiation exposure.

The high-quality images acquired by applying iDose during the CT scan helped doctors uncover an unusual air leak that was causing respiratory distress in the infant. This anatomic detail allowed doctors to successfully treat the baby and remove the breathing tube. “The child is now doing very well,” says Dr. Berlin.

With iDose, powered by Intel® Xeon® processors, physicians are able to improve image quality at low dose and reconstruct images in seconds rather than minutes, increasing diagnostic accuracy at reduced risk. Intel is proud to support Philips Healthcare in developing this revolutionary technology.

Nothing like this has come around in my experience. This is an exciting time to be a pediatric radiologist because we have these powerful tools at our fingertips, and we’re part of helping maximize their potential on the frontlines.

Sheila Berlin, MD, Pediatric Radiology, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital

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