Today (November 8) is the International Day of Radiology and, with a focus on Imaging and Lung Disease, Australian radiologists have welcomed the day by unveiling a ultra-low dose CT technique.
Traditionally cystic fibrosis diagnosis was limited to chest x-rays that delivered limited information, or conventional CT scans that involved large doses of radiation, while this new technique promises a more accurate cystic fibrosis diagnosis with significantly reduced radiation risks.
Approximately 50-60 times less radiation is used in this ultra-low dose CT scanning method than in traditional CT machines.
The low dose technique was presented at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) annual meeting in Auckland in October.
RANZCR Associate Professor Ken Lau says the new CT scanning method promises much for the future of cystic fibrosis management.
Research showed the new technique had been effective in detecting cystic fibrosis symptoms in 57 patients studied at Monash Health in Melbourne.
It has also proven successful in diagnosing various degrees of lung disease including the type and extent of bronchiectasis, pneumonia and lung abscesses, among others.
The results have equalled what would be detected via a traditional CT scan; a conventional chest x-ray would not show nearly as much relevant lung detail.
The new CT method reduces image noise and improves image quality, and means patients are exposed to a far lower radiation dose, Mr Lau said in an October 8 media release from the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.
"This CT technique may appropriately apply for other conditions, particularly in young patients," he said.
Cystic fibrosis affects 1 in 3,200 newborns and is a multisystem, life-limiting disease. With this new ultra-low dose CT scanning method, children can more safely be diagnosed and move onto available treatment and therapies to help improve quality of life.
If you or someone in your family has cystic fibrosis and you are thinking about purchasing family health insurance, you'll be glad to know an Australian health insurance provider cannot discriminate against you because of a chronic illness.
However, as cystic fibrosis will be considered a 'pre-existing condition', there may be a waiting period attached to your private health insurance policy.
For more information and guidance on your health insurance options, contact the team at HICA today. We can offer an obligation-free quote, health insurance comparison and expert advice to help ensure you receive the best cover for your needs.