ESR News December 2015

The European workshop on DRLs in paediatric imaging

John Damilakis, Professor of Medical Physics

The Workshop on European Diagnostic Reference Levels for Paediatric Imaging (PiDRL Workshop) was held at the Lisbon School of Health Technology (Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde de Lisboa, ESTeSL), Portugal, on October 15-17, 2015 as part of the PiDRL EC project. The main aims of the workshop were to a) share experiences, lessons learned and best practices in developing and implementing DRLs in paediatric imaging, b) develop strategies for optimisation of radiation protection of paediatric patients at the European level and c) develop strategies to disseminate and implement the results from this project in practice.

The PiDRL project consortium encouraged wide attendance in order to ensure a good basis of discussion of the draft PiDRL guidelines and to identify the need for further action regarding DRLs and optimisation of radiation protection of paediatric patients. Invited guest speakers and members of the PiDRL project consortium presented the current status and future opportunities in DRLs for paediatric imaging in different sessions and poster presentations. The workshop programme was divided into six round tables, each of them handling a specific subject within the area of DRLs in paediatric imaging.

  • Round table 1 outlined the PiDRL project, with invited speakers directly involved in the project.
  • Round table 2 presented the current status in DRLs for paediatric imaging in European countries, with invited speakers representing the PiDRL project.
  • Round table 3 focused on how to establish and how to use DRLs, with invited speakers directly involved in the project, as well as an invited expert to present DICOM tools.
  • Round table 4 concentrated on establishing DRLs for paediatric non-cardiac and cardiac fluoroscopically guided procedures, presented by members of the PiDRL consortium.
  • Round table 5 provided an overview of the role of international and national organisations in establishing and promoting the use of DRLs for paediatric imaging. The round table was introduced by a representative of the European Commission to emphasise the importance of European guidance in this topic. Thereafter, representatives from six international and national organisations (ICRP, IAEA, WHO, HERCA, PHE and Image Gently), who partly also served on the PiDRL Expert Advisory Panel, participated in this session.
  • Round table 6 completed the workshop with a focus on European scientific societies’ views (ESR, EFRS, ESPR and EFOMP) on European DRLs for paediatric imaging.

In addition to the six round tables, the programme also included two invited lectures on the establishment of CT DRLs in Portugal and the impact of using DRLs in paediatric imaging. The workshop programme was completed with 21 oral and 18 poster abstract presentations on national developments of paediatric DRLs and patient doses from paediatric procedures. During the oral abstract presentations, the experiences from several European countries, as well as from the United States, Kenya and South Africa on DRLs in paediatric imaging were outlined and discussed. On the final day, a panel discussion was organised to review main issues related to DRLs in paediatric imaging. The panel consisted of seven representatives from the PiDRL project consortium and the Expert Advisory Panel.

In total, 157 participants from 31 European and non-European countries participated in the PiDRL Workshop.

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Figure 1: Regions. Most participants were from European countries.

The above figure indicates that most participants at the PiDRL Workshop came from European countries. However, there were also some participants from non-European countries, e.g. 3 from Africa, 2 from the Middle East and Asia, and one each from North and South America (Figure 1).

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Figure 2: Top countries

Clearly most participants came from Portugal (61), the host country. Moreover, Italy (13), the UK (9), Spain (8), Greece and the Netherlands (7 each), Finland (6), as well as Belgium, France and Ireland (5 each) had a higher number of attendees (Figure 2).

The professions, which were indicated in the workshop registration form, were also analysed. Figure 3 shows that most participants were medical physicists, followed by radiographers and radiologists. Other participants were students, researchers, other phyisicians or radiation protection experts. Moreover ‘other’ professions were indicated in the registration form, which could not be grouped to categories.

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Figure 3: Professions


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