At the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics have been collaborating with the hospital staff to refine CT imaging protocols in an effort to reduce dose, enable the acquisition of more clinically useful images, and reduce the frequency of repeat scans.
The UW CT protocols have been in a constant state of evolution. With the help of the largest medical physics department in the world, UW protocols have been modified so we image gently, but also we image well.
Part of the success of the project is that UW has partnered with GE Healthcare. Collaboration with the GE engineers has allowed us to gain greater insight into the capabilities of each scanner platform. These protocols are now shared with current and future GE CT users. This has the potential to save time and effort for clinical services, particularly those relying on GE scanners. As an example, a study at the William W. Backus hospital presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), revealed that the annual cost of reviewing and optimizing 30 protocols can exceed $150,000.1
This release of UW protocols covers nearly all clinical indications for CT imaging including neuro, MSK, chest, body, vascular, and pediatric. By adjusting the type, amount, and timing of oral and intravenous contrast as well as modifying patient positioning, and scan and reconstruction parameters, each protocol is optimized to enhance the potential for accurate diagnosis of a suspect clinical condition.