Recent studies have raised the problem of dose optimisation imaging protocols in patients with renal colic. Some of them are written by emergency physicians, who seem to pay more attention to this problem than radiologists. We would like to hear what you think about this issue in the comments section below.
Renal colic is a common problem, which is increasing in incidence, affects 10%-15% of people over during their lives, and has a tendency to recur. The ability to rapidly identify kidney stones, as well as their position along the ureter and their dimensions, with high sensitivity and specificity using unenhanced CT, has made this technique the first-line approach to the condition. Since CT involves ionising radiation and there is growing concern about its possible carcinogenic effects, low-dose CT protocols for urolithiasis have been developed to minimise radiation risk.
However, low-dose images and often considered as low-quality images and, although these protocols have been shown to be accurate for stone detection, there are concerns about their use due to fears of missing other diagnoses that may clinically mimic stone disease, such as appendicitis, diverticulitis, and cholecystitis. A possible solution could be to use different CT protocols according to the pre-test probability of stone disease. In patients with a previous history of urolithiasis, a low-dose CT examination would be sufficient.
With demand for imaging examinations constantly growing and patient radiation exposure rising, the need to improve medical radiation protection has never been greater.
EuroSafe Imaging, a flagship radiation protection initiative launched at ECR 2014, is the ESR’s timely response to this issue. An initial milestone of the campaign was reached with the recent publication of the EuroSafe Imaging Call for Action, an implementation strategy comprising 12 action items to contribute to achieving EuroSafe Imaging’s mission of promoting appropriateness, maintaining radiation doses within diagnostic reference levels, using the ALARA principle, promoting the use of up-to-date equipment, empowering patients, and joining forces with various stakeholders.
This mission is underpinned by two fundamental objectives: raising more awareness of radiation protection, and providing an overarching strategy to coordinate a multitude of stakeholders’ radiation protection efforts.
To capture the reasons for launching this initiative and its expected impact, the ESR has produced a video about EuroSafe Imaging that highlights the comprehensive approach of the campaign, with interviewees representing radiology, radiography, medical physics and international organisations.
Check out the video above to find out why it is important to communicate the various components of radiation protection to a wider audience, how EuroSafe Imaging can contribute to creating a new patient safety paradigm, and why this is just the right time for this initiative!
Don’t forget to join us in promoting patient safety by becoming a Friend of EuroSafe Imaging!