Friday, October 13, 2023

Rethinking Imaging Protocols to Reduce Radiation

 Providing optimal medical imaging care while minimizing potential harms requires continually reassessing protocols as technology and knowledge evolves. A recent study finding no correlation between patient BMI and chest imaging accuracy is noteworthy because it counters conventional wisdom. Current protocols often increase radiation dose for larger patients, assuming more body tissue makes imaging more difficult. However, these researchers found no link between BMI and diagnostic accuracy for either x-rays or CT scans.

This indicates existing practices may oversimplify the relationship between body size and image quality. Addressing the distribution of body fat could matter more than the BMI number itself. If confirmed in further research, this insight could enable reducing radiation exposures without sacrificing imaging accuracy! Specialists should view this as a prompt to re-examine protocols and challenge existing assumptions. Even small changes informed by the latest evidence could significantly improve the risk/benefit profile of the vital diagnostic tools that benefit countless patients.

Citation: Heston TF, Jiang JY. Concordance of chest x-ray with chest CT by body mass index. PeerJ. 2023 Mar 16;11:e15090. doi: