Optimization of Exposure Conditions for Computed Radiology Exams in Neonatal Intensive Care


This paper performs a review of existing literature about neonatal imaging in intensive care; we notice that the multiplicity of approaches results in different and sometimes conflicting solutions to optimize acquisition technique of X-ray images. European Guidelines still refer to screen-film combinations used in past decades, current usage of digital technology requires an additional effort to reduce dose to infants and to optimize the sensor’s response exploiting their properties. In this work we investigate response changes of digital medium (computed radiography plates), due to alterations of the beam through incubators components. All combinations in use in our Hospital were tested for evaluating dosimetry and image quality and new exposure solutions were devised to optimize radiology exams, taking into account solutions suggested by the equipments makers. Dose measured was compared with dose levels suggested by European Guidelines, evaluating radiation-induced risk too. Image quality was evaluated in a double-blind comparison by radiologists. An easily repeatable optimization procedure is proposed intended to reduce delivered dose well below European guidelines. The proposed study allowed us to instruct the technologists on the most appropriate methodology for performing the radiology exam, by standardizing the approach to Neonatal Intensive Care Units. We have demonstrated also to radiologic technologists reluctant to use the X-ray tray, as it may optimize imaging in the incubator. We were also able to reduce dose—and radiation-induced risk too—of 37% - 67% depending on the previously used operating mode.

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Rizzi, E. , Emanuelli, S. , Amerio, S. , Fagan, D. , Mastrogiacomo, F. , Gianino, P. and Cesarani, F. (2014) Optimization of Exposure Conditions for Computed Radiology Exams in Neonatal Intensive Care. Open Journal of Radiology, 4, 69-78. doi: 10.4236/ojrad.2014.41009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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