2009 News Archive

Medical Physics Consultants, Inc

Chalk River Reactor Repairs 11% Complete – AECL has released a statement that notes the repair status for the Chalk River is 11% complete and on schedule for March / April startup. 12/30/09

AAPM Give Its’ Response to CT Dose Issue – The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) has issued a response to the recent publicity regarding CT dose and its’ contribution in 15,000 deaths.

MRI Plus Mammography Detects Breast Cancer Earlier – Researchers report that almost all breast cancers can be detected at an early stage by using both MRI and Mammography 12/11/09

GE To Study Ultra Low Radiation CT – A consortium of worldwide healthcare facilities will initiate a study of Model Based Iterative Reconstruction (MBIR) CT imaging. GE expects ultra low radiation doses as a result. 12/02/09

Health Physics Society Introduces Radon Action Levels Below EPA Limits – The Health Physics Society (HPS) has suggested action levels for radon gas below the current 4 pCi/l EPA limit. 12/01/09

ICACTL Incorporates Radiation Dose Standards Into It’s CT Accreditation Program – The Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Computed Tomography Laboratories (ICACTL) has revised its standards to include clauses related to controlling radiation dose. 11/24/09

CT Overdoses Found At Second LA County Hospital – A second California hospital – Glendale Adventist Medical Center has discovered excess CT patient doses due to an undocumented CT console protocol change. 11/23/09

Pallas Reactor Project Initiates Dutch Government Approval Process – The replacement reactor for the aging Petten facility is scheduled to open in 2016. 11/23/09

CT Perfusion Imaging – An Introduction – An introductory summary of current CT perfusion techniques is provided. 11/18/09

Cataract Induction Possible For Cedars-Sinai Patients – Additional review of over exposed patient images revealed that possibly 20% had exposure delivered to the lens of the eye. 11/10/09

US House of Representative Passes HR 3276 – The American Medical Isotopes Production Act passed the full House for allocation of $163M in 2011. 11/06/09

ACR Encourages The Evaluation of CT Protocols – In light of the recent events at Cedars-Sinai, the ACR is encouraging all CT users to evaluate existing protocols and educate staff. 11/02/09

US House Energy & Commerce Committee Passes HR 3276 – The American Isotopes Production Act received committee approval of $163M for LEU production of Mo-99. 10/27/09

Gingko biloba May Protect Cells From Radiation Damage – A publication in the International Journal of Low Radiation notes that cells and mice given Gingko biloba extract exhibited radiation resistant qualities. 10/26/09

Cedars-Sinai & GE in Class Action Suit Over CT Doses – A class action suit has been filed as a result of ~200 patients being exposed to 3-4 Gy from brain perfusion CT Studies. It is suggested that a preset protocol was changed, possibly pitch to 0.125 to result in this level of dose. 10/20/09

Chalk River Repair Estimate $70M – AECL has estimate the repair bill for the shuttered 52 year old reactor to be $70M over and above the $120M annual operating costs. The federal government has yet to approve the expenditure. 10/19/09

Netherlands Plans to Replace Petten Reactor – The government of the Netherlands has proposed that a new reactor be built to replace the 40 year old Petten reactor. The new reactor would come online in 2015. 10/13/09

“Siemens” Nuclear Pharmacy in NM – Siemens has planned the development of a PET based nuclear pharmacy in New Mexico

Restart “Protocol” Developed to for the Chalk River Reactor – AECL and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission have established a protocol to follow for restarting the NRU reactor.

CT Dose Reduction Achieved with Iterative Reconstruction – Up to a 65% reduction in CT dose has been reported by using an iterative reconstruction technique.

Chalk River Repair Method Chosen – AECL has chosen a welding method to repair the leaks in the aluminum containment vessel as the second phase of this project.

Nanotechnology Produces Miniaturized X-ray Tubes – At the 2009 AAPM meeting, the use of carbon nanotube field emission allowed the production of x-rays from a “cold X-ray tube

AECL Has Finally Removed All Heavy Water from the Chalk River Reactor – All of the heavy water moderator has finally been removed from the NRU reactor to enable its’ inspection for the cause of the leaks that forced its’ shutdown.

AMIC and MU to collaborate on Mo-99 Production -Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation and the University of Missouri are field testing a Mo-99 production method using a light-enriched uranium solution.

Canada May Outsource the Maple Reactor Project to the Private Sector – The canadian government has opened the door to include operational proposals for the moth-balled Maple Reactor project to the private sector.

Mo-99 Source – Chalk River Reactor “may shut for good” – A 5/21/09 newspaper reports that engineers familiar with the reactor note that the possible repair schedule could force the reactor to close down permanently.

Radiation Risks Estimated via “Biological Dose” – Good correlation was noted between dose-area-product (DAP) and lymphocyte double strand breaks (DSB) to evaluate dose deposition in patients.

Referring Physicians Unaware of CT Radiation Dose Risks or Levels – 2009 ARRS meeting reports that referring physicians are not aware of either the risk or the levels of radiation exposure from CT.

2009 JCAHO Standards Revised – JCAHO has removed “direct” supervision of a licensed pharmacist or physician as a requirement for in-house radiopharmaceutical compounding.

MRI Magnet Explosions – Words to the Wise – The US has documented five MRI magnet explosions recently. These primarily occur during installation / de installation.

mA Modulation Reduces CTA Radiation Dose – Tube current modulation in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, aortic dissection and pulmonary emboli reduces patient’s radiation dose.

Missouri Research Reactor Plans to Produce Mo-99 in Four Years – Plans are established to file for an NRC license to produce 50% of the needed Mo-99 within four years using LEU fuel.

Orthopods find C-Arm & mini C-Arm Exposures Underestimated – This study re-enforces the correct patient orientation and radiation safety techniques that MPC subscribes to as well.

Interventional Radiologists Must Use Eye Protection – Use of a 0.5 mm Pb equivalent “Pull-Down” face shield as well as Pb drapes is most effective. 2009 Society of Interventional Radiologists presentation

NRC Annual Fees Increase 61.5% – NRC released it’s “Proposed” 2009 fee schedule. A Nuclear Medicine license annual fee went from $3900 in 2008 to $6300 for 2009.

NCRP Report Indicates 700% Increase in US Population Dose – Increased usage of CT and Nuclear Medicine exams account for nearly 75% of US population dose in 2006.

320 Slice CTA Exam Possibly Lowers Dose – For patients in sinus rhythm, a one second 320 slice scan delivers 1.3 to 2.2 mSv for a CTA exam.

GE Offers FREE Pediatric CT protocols – Low Dose pediatric CT procedure based protocols are available from GE via the “Image Gently” alliance.

Removal of Low Activity Lymph Nodes – It is suggested that all positive lymph nodes >10% of the sentinel lymph count rate should be removed in order to reduce false negative rate in breast cancer.

Alliance HealthCare Services – After purchasing Shared PET, Alliance Imaging Services will change it’s name to Alliance HealthCare Services that will operate diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology divisions.

ACMUI Opposes Medical Event Language – The NRC’s Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes is in opposition to the NRC’s proposed rule language concerning the classification as a Medical Event when a written directive is required but not provided.

Univ. of Missouri Reactor Expansion for Mo-99 – A $40M production facility expansion is planned to produce 50% of the nations demand of Mo-99 within four(4) years.

Alliance buys Shared PET – Alliance Medical Imaging has purchased Shared PET of Canton, Ohio for $43 Million.

Mo-99 From An Linac?? – Researchers at TRIUMF in Vancouver, B.C., Canada are proposing “Photo-Fission” as a production alternative.