Head CT - Lens Exclusion

Descriptor

Exclusion of the lens of the eye in routine head CT examinations.

Background

The exclusion of the lens from the standard brain CT examination will:

• Reduce the radiation dose to the eye

• Reduce the likelihood of lens damage and cataract formation

The Cycle

The Standard

All brain scans should be performed with the base line set so as to exclude the lens of the eye.

Target

100%

Assess local practice

Indicators

Percentage of routine head CT scans performed with the lens excluded from the scan field.

Data items to be collected

Record the number of brain scans in which:

• The lens of one or both eyes is/are included in the (field of) examination

• The lenses of both eyes are not included

Suggested number

50 consecutive routine brain scans (where the examination of the orbits was not a requirement).

Suggestions for change if target not met

• Develop a protocol for brain CT in which the base line is set so as to exclude the eye lens

• Identify exclusions to this protocol (e.g. examination for diplopia or exophthalmos)

• Emphasise to radiographers the importance of excluding the eye

• Persuade supervising radiologists to avoid making exclusions to the protocol

Resources

- Image file review

- Radiographer or radiologist: 2 hours to examine 50 scans

- 1 hour for report

References

  1. Spencer, D. CT Scanning Angles Selected for Routine CT Brain Scanning. How does the Selected CT Scanning Angle Affect the Eye-Lens Dose? MSc dissertation. London: City University, 1992.

  2. NRPB ASP6 (1984). Radiography 1984;595:25–6.

  3. National Radiological Protection Board. Protection of the Patient in X-ray Computed Tomography. Didcot: NRPB, 1992.

Editors Comments

Submitted by

Taken from Clinical Audit in Radiology 100+ recipes RCR 1996, updated by CRAC

Co Authors

Published Date

Monday 7 January 2008