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New CT software reduces radiation dose, provides high quality images

Patients at ETMC Jacksonville are benefitting from the addition of new CT software that reduces radiation exposure by an average of 40 percent, without reducing image quality.

The software, called iDose, was created by Philips Healthcare, and is only available for Philips imaging products, such as ETMC Jacksonville's Philips 64-slice CT. It was installed at the hospital in late November.

 "Without the new software, if the radiation dose was reduced while performing a CT, you would get 'noise' - that is, graininess or specks that can lower the image's quality," explained Beth Killingsworth, RT, director of radiology at ETMC Jacksonville. "Since adding the software, we can use it to remove the 'noise' from CT images taken with lower radiation doses. This allows us to use significantly less radiation in imaging the patient, yet provide the radiologist with the same high quality image needed to interpret the scan."

Dr. Daniel Bennett, radiologist on the ETMC Jacksonville medical staff, agreed. "With CT scanning our goal has always been to reduce radiation exposure whenever possible. This is particularly important for patients who require CTs more frequently, such as someone with a chronic illness. We can now reduce radiation exposure on average around 40 percent, which dramatically reduces the dose received over the patient's lifetime," he said. "This is now the standard for our CT protocols so that all patients can benefit from it."

CT uses X-rays to produce very detailed images of bones and soft tissues, and is used to diagnose and monitor a variety of medical conditions.

Radiation dose is dependent on different factors, including the patient's size and the part of the body being studied. In some instances, iDose can be used to produce even higher quality images.

"The images taken using iDose are, in my opinion, at least the same quality as the images taken without iDose. We are very excited about this - we are getting the detail we want, and the patient is receiving a reduced dose," Dr. Bennett said.

ETMC is in the process of adding iDose systemwide.

ETMC Jacksonville is part of the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System's network of hospitals throughout East Texas.

Other ETMC facilities include hospitals in Athens, Carthage, Clarksville, Crockett, Fairfield, Gilmer, Henderson, Mount Vernon, Pittsburg, Quitman, Trinity and Tyler.

ETMC is a not-for-profit organization committed to improving the quality of life in communities throughout East Texas. For more information, please visit on the web at www.etmc.org.