Siemens Healthcare has launched its third annual computed tomography clinical imaging competition, inviting members of the public to submit an online vote for the image of their choice in the ‘Right Dose Image Contest’. An international jury of experts, including members of the Sierra Initiative (Siemens Radiation Reduction Alliance), will determine the winners in eight specialist categories in conjunction with the public vote. Above and beyond factors like the high diagnostic clinical image quality, it is also criteria such as the utilisation of the right radiation dosage that will decide the winner.
Almost 200 medical institutions and clinical practices from around the globe have taken part in the competition, all using a CT scanner from the Siemens Somatom range of products. The images submitted are testament to the users’ ability to harness the power of Siemens Technology in order to reduce radiation dosage, underlining the innovative strength displayed by the company’s healthcare sector as part of the Agenda 2013 initiative.
The correct radiation amount is as different as each and every individual. Depending on the clinical condition the right dose will vary considerably from one patient to another and reducing radiation to the lowest possible level is not useful in every case. Instead, it is the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) that is essential when dealing with X-ray based computed tomography in a responsible manner. Too low a dose could yield insufficient diagnostic information, rendering even the lowest applied dose too high.
Images submitted in the contest showcase the part played by Siemens Right Dose technologies. Ronald Booij, of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, is one of the contestants, having entered an image of an aortic isthmus stenosis – a narrowing of the body’s main artery – in a seven-month-old baby. Booji achieved his effective dose of 0.28 millisievert (mSv) using the Dual Source CT Somatom Definition Flash without any kind of sedation on his patient, an aspect of utmost importance in paediatrics, and credits the advanced technical equipment in his contest article.
Germany’s Dr. Thomas Zelesny, of Alb-Fils-Kliniken in Göppingen secured his contest participation with a cardiac scan of a 65-year-old woman, taken with the Somatom Definition AS. With a dose of just 0.78 mSv Zelesny managed an extraordinary diagnostic image displaying even the smaller lateral vessels of the coronary arteries.
Vascular imaging and cardiology are not the only categories judged, with the Right Dose Excellence Award also given in neurology, oncology, pediatrics, routine examinations (as for example in diagnosing unexplained abdominal pain), trauma, and Dual Energy.
Premiering this year is a special prize for sustainable dose management. This is open to healthcare institutions who share their dose reduction strategies with other Siemens CT users and who submit two or more cases.
Votes for the ‘Right Dose Image Contest’ can be submitted for the best CT image at www.siemens.com/image-contest. The award presentation will be part of Chicago’s 99th Convention of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), taking place in December.