“Committed to ALARA“ VS. “Admitting to guesswork” – Second best is not an option.
Scan at the Right Dose Levels
Next to having access to the right technology, it is essential to know the right dose levels to perform an examination according to ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable). The right dose level is the best possible balance between image quality and required amount of radiation.
Absolute Dose Values - Essential for the Right Dose
A prerequisite for users to know whether they apply the right dose levels is an understanding of absolute dose values. This is why Siemens provides them along with their protocols. Users can then use these values as a reference to compare their current dose level with regional recommendations and guidelines, scientific publications, or the dose levels delivered by Siemens CT standard scan protocols.
SIERRA – the Siemens Radiation Reduction Alliance – was founded by Siemens together with key opinion leaders in radiology. Comprised of 15 international experts, this alliance creates recommendations for clinical practice around the globe.
Siemens CT Standard Scan Protocols apply these recommendations to each examination. Along with international guidelines and reference values, Siemens’ dedicated protocol development team continuously incorporates the feedback from panels like SIERRA into a sophisticated library of scan protocols.
More information about SIERRA
In a continual commitment to patient care and radiation reduction in computed tomography (CT), Siemens Healthcare has launched SIERRA (Siemens Radiation Reduction Alliance) and has established an expert panel to advance the cause of dose reduction in CT. The new Low Dose Expert Panel includes 15 specialists in radiology, cardiology and physics, who are internationally recognized for their publications on the subject of CT dose. The panel’s objective is to generate proposals for how manufacturers may continue to develop their technology and to help users better adapt their procedures in order to bring about further dose reduction in CT. One of the most important suggestions from the first meeting of the Low Dose Expert Panel in May concerns methods to increase utilization in clinical practice of the many CT dose reduction technologies that are already available.
SIERRA’s expert panel proposes its first recommendations on patient care, radiation reduction
“Our aim as a leading innovator in the field of computed tomography is to reduce radiation exposure for all typical CT examinations below 2 mSv, which is as low as the average annual dose due to naturally occurring background radiation. We are committed to doing everything we can to help our customers reduce doses in CT without compromising the diagnostic quality of the examination in any way,” said Sami Atiya, PhD, former CEO, Computed Tomography, Siemens Healthcare. “With this in mind, we want to work with experts to develop concrete proposals on dose reduction and, therefore, launched Siemens Radiation Reduction Alliance, SIERRA.”
Excellent image quality is vital in CT, but it is also important to keep the patient’s radiation exposure as low as possible. Siemens Healthcare has already introduced a wide range of measures to help its customers consistently achieve this goal. Now, Siemens wants to take on a more active role in this field and has convened a panel of experts expressly to develop new ideas for dose reduction in CT.
The Low Dose Expert Panel will meet twice a year to discuss new ideas and investigate whether measures already agreed upon are having a positive impact. Siemens intends to use the discussions to spur the development of new features for its CT scanners and new training programs for its customers.
The panel’s members are:
Hatem Alkadhi, MD, University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland
Christoph Becker, MD, Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany
Elliot Fishman, MD, Johns Hopkins University, U.S.
Donald Frush, MD, Duke University, U.S.
Jörg Hausleiter, MD, Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany
Willi Kalender, PhD, University of Erlangen, Germany
Harold Litt, MD-PhD, University of Pennsylvania, U.S.
Cynthia McCollough, PhD, Mayo Clinic, U.S.
Alec Megibow, MD, NYU-Langone Medical Center, U.S.
Michael Recht, MD, NYU-Langone Medical Center, U.S.
Dushyant Sahani, MD, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, U.S.
U. Joseph Schoepf, MD, Medical University of South Carolina, U.S.
Marilyn Siegel, MD, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, U.S.
Aaron Sodickson, MD-PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, U.S.
Kheng-Thye Ho, MD, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore
What experts say about SIERRA
"Radiation dose from medical imaging has historically received much greater attention in Europe than in other parts of the world, where radiation exposure only recently has become a topic of discussion. On that background, Siemens has several decades of experience in the implementation of radiation reduction strategies and has a longstanding, successful track record of providing their customers with tools that deliver optimal image quality at the lowest possible radiation dose. Most of the technical features and mechanisms for radiation reduction which regulatory bodies currently consider making mandatory in the U.S. have been part of their standard portfolio and implemented in their products for many years. I am happy and proud to embark on this initiative together with Siemens and my colleagues from around the globe in order to ensure that these powerful tools are used to their fullest extent. With this endeavor we can make a difference and show to the world that we do get the message, that we can indeed change, and slash radiation dose without sacrificing diagnostic quality."1
U. Joseph Schoepf,
MD, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, U.S.
“I see users operating CT scanners in everyday applications without taking full advantage of the possibilities available to them to strike the optimal balance between image quality and radiation dose. The answer, in my opinion, involves a significant amount of training across a wide range of areas. I want to see users at more and more institutions receive the advanced training they need in order to make best use of the options available, and this will be the main objective of my work on the panel.”1
PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, U.S.
"We have made great advances in optimizing pediatric radiation doses, but dose reduction optimization remains a work in progress. Advances in technology and capabilities of CT scanners will continue to evolve and improve our ability to diagnose disease. These advances will mandate new scanning protocols and continuing education for users. By collaborating with industry, we can optimize CT scanning in children even further and continue to improve patient care. I am delighted to join Siemens in an initiative to develop protocols and integrate new technologies into clinical practice."1
MD, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, St. Louis, U.S.