Ella Kazerooni, M.D., M.S., contributed to a decade of research on producing lower-radiation CT scans.

Reducing Radiation

Getting CT images with X-ray radiation volumes

issue 16 | summer 2012

A technological breakthrough is allowing the University of Michigan Health System to be the first teaching hospital in the United States to perform some CT scans using a fraction of the radiation dose required for a conventional CT image. During the past decade, U-M scientists have contributed to the research behind a new GE Healthcare technology known as Veo.

"The radiation dose for a standard chest CT is equal to about 70 chest X-rays. In comparison, a chest CT using Veo can use a radiation dose equivalent to just one or two chest X-rays," says Ella Kazerooni, M.D., M.S., professor of radiology at the U-M Medical School.

Doses for scans using Veo, however, will vary depending on factors like the size of the patient, the part of the body being scanned and the diagnostic task, she notes.

Veo was installed on one CT scanner at U-M in late 2011, and the Health System plans to eventually offer the technology more widely as it upgrades seven compatible CT systems at the new C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and University Hospital. Veo is already in use in Europe, Canada and Asia.

An image made using Veo looks slightly different than a conventional CT image.

"I might describe it as a little waxy looking," Kazerooni says. "But the real question isn't whether the picture is as pretty, but whether we can see the things we need to see and get the critical information from an image using a much lower dose of radiation. And from what we've seen so far, the answer is, 'Yes, we can.'"

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