How We Reduce Patient Exposure to Radiation

UCSF Radiologist Dr Elicker describes how the UCSF Department of Radiology minimizes patient exposure to radiation associated with CT scans.

UCSF is a leader in adopting practices for the reduction of radiation in patients. We always make sure the exam is necessary and that the benefits of the exam are greater than the risk of radiation exposure. At UCSF, we use the lowest dose that still allows us to get useful diagnostic images and many of our scanners are equipped with special dose modulating software while reducing radiation exposure by up to 40%. However, we aim for 80%. We can reduce radiation by 80% in an average patient for certain procedures like lung nodules and biopsies. Also, we are concerned about radiation exposure to pediatric patients as they are most at risk.  Thus, the lowest dose is used on pediatric patients and we also advocate alternatives that does not use radiation like ultrasound.  


Division Chief, Cardiothoracic Imaging
Professor Clinical Radiology

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