posted October 13, 2010

Speaker to Discuss Radiation Dosage in CT Scanning

Dr. Cynthia H. McCollough of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., will present the address "Radiation Dose from CT Scanning: What You Need to Know" on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. at Hope College in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

McCollough is a professor of radiologic physics and director of the CT Clinical Innovation Center in the Department of Radiology at the Mayo Clinic.  She is a specialist in the measurement and reduction of CT dose levels.

A 1985 Hope graduate who majored in physics, she will be speaking through the weekly seminar series coordinated by the college's departments of physics and engineering.

Her presentation will review the potential benefits and potential risks of CT imaging, with an emphasis on helping patients, their family members and health care providers to make informed medical decisions.  She will also discuss the ongoing efforts within the medical community to ensure that CT examinations are both medically justified and optimally performed.

According to McCollough, an estimated 62 million x-ray computer tomography (CT) scans were performed in the United States in 2006, up from 46 million in 2000 and 13 million in 1990, an increase that she describes as largely due to the tremendous contributions of CT imaging methods to modern health care.  Over the same time period, she notes, the dose levels associated with CT examinations have decreased by more than 50 percent, even while the images have increased in quality and the exams decreased in duration.

McCollough has been responsible for the technical aspects of the CT practice at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester since 1991.  She has directed the evaluation, installation, commissioning and clinical use of more than 50 CT scanners.

She has directed Mayo Clinic's CT Clinical Innovation Center, which she founded, since 2004.  Through the center, she supervises a multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator team of physicians, scientists, research fellows and graduate students in evaluating and developing new CT imaging technology and clinical applications, with a particular focus on the measurement and reduction of CT dose levels.

McCollough has served on many committees and in numerous leadership positions in the radiology, medical physics and radiation protection communities, including the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU), International Council on Radiation Protection (ICRP), National Council on Radiological Protection (NCRP), American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), American College of Radiology (ACR) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

She chaired the task group that produced AAPM Report 96, "The measurement, reporting, and management of radiation dose in CT," and has testified at congressional and FDA hearings on the topic of radiation dose in CT.  She is a fellow of the AAPM and ACR, and has written or co-authored more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed publications.

In addition to her Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Hope, she holds a Master of Science in physics and a doctorate in medical physics, both from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.