Is standardization of CT nomenclature and protocols feasible? A response from the Alliance for Quality Computed Tomography

M. Anzidei

 

Introduction

In the past 20 years, the unstoppable advance of research and technology has led diagnostic and interventional radiology to become one of the pillars of modern medicine. In particular, CT has become one of the most important diagnostic tools in the management of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, infectious pathologies and trauma. In fact, today, CT is the imaging modality of choice in several clinical scenarios, ranging from simple pathologies such as pneumonia to extremely complex cases such as liver transplantation. This progress has undoubtedly been encouraged and supported by leading industrial companies that accompanied researchers worldwide in changing the face of radiology. However, such support and fast progress come at a price: indeed, the boom of MDCT technology, the presence of various high-profile companies, and the wide availability of scanners with progressively better performance have led to a technical Babel’s tower, made of a surplus of software, hardware and scan variants, each with its own proprietary name (1-5). A radiologist may now face more than 50 different terms for the description of scan and reconstruction functions of each MDCT model from the major vendors. The main risk in this scenario is confusion in selecting scan and reconstruction parameters, which can lead to inappropriate CT acquisitions, in terms of both image quality and radiation exposure, and may compromise patients’ safety. Would standardization of CT nomenclature and protocols be a solution?

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