Task Group 108
Optimisation of Radiological Protection in Digital Radiography, Fluoroscopy, and CT in Medical Imaging

A Task Group under Committee 3

ICRP has produced a publication on optimisation of protection (Publication 101b) in 2006, but not on issues of optimisation specific to medicine. Guidance has been included in publications dealing with particular techniques (e.g. Publication 121 on paediatric imaging, and Publication 129 on cone beam CT imaging). Previous publications also include Publication 87 on CT, Publication 93 on technical issues in digital imaging, Publication 102 on multi-detector CT, Publication 117 on fluoroscopy, and Publication 120 on cardiology.

Radiology techniques are by far the most common forms of medical imaging performed worldwide. Digital imaging now gives the potential for images to be obtained with lower exposures, enabling levels to be adapted to the diagnostic requirements of particular examinations. However, this facility is often not considered and standard exposure levels are widely used. In addition, new techniques are becoming available that can improve image quality and again enable diagnostic images to be obtained with lower patient doses. However, many users are not deploying these tools effectively, so doses received by patients in many centres are far from optimised.

The mandate of this Task Group is to provide guidance on the need to adopt and adapt levels of dose and image quality to clinical tasks, taking advantage of the wide dynamic range offered by digital imaging equipment. Emphasis will be placed on achieving images that are diagnostic and using images of different quality levels for diagnosis. Methods involved depend on the x-ray technique, for example adapting automatic exposure control settings for digital radiography and making effective use of advanced CT tools such as dual energy, iterative reconstruction, and tube current modulation.

The report to be produced by this Task Group is intended to supersede ICRP Publications 87 and 93. This Task Group will not address nuclear medicine (recently addressed in Publication 128) or dental imaging.

The target audience includes clinical users of machine produced radiation medical imaging equipment, medical physicists, manufacturers, X-ray engineers, applications specialists, and regulators.

This Task Group will:

  • Develop a report for publication in the Annals of ICRP on Application of the Commission’s Recommendation of Optimisation in various imaging modalities;
  • Prepare related materials for ICRPaedia;
  • Prepare slide sets of each modality chapter including key points for local facility teaching;
  • Engage with ICRP liaison organisations and other stakeholders.
Colin Martin (Chair), University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Kimberly Applegate (Member), University of Kentucky COM (retired), USA
John Damilakis (Member), University of Crete, School of Medicine, Greece
Maria del Rosario Perez (Member), World Health Organisation (WHO), Switzerland
Irene Hernandez-Giron (Member), Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), The Netherlands
Dina Husseiny (Member), Atomic Energy Authority, Egypt
Helen Khoury (Member), Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil
Mika Kortesniemi (Member), HUS Diagnostic Center, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland
Dean Pekarovic (Member), Univeristiy Medical Centre Ljubljana, Institute of Radiology, Slovenia
David Sutton (Member), University of Dundee, United Kingdom
Kwan Hoong Ng (Corresponding Member), Universiti Malaya, Malaysia
Constantinos Zervides (Technical Secretary), CZMH Limassol Medical Physics and Dosimetry Services LTD, Cyprus
Jenia Vassileva (Representative), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Austria