October 27, 2011

IHS Low Dose CT explained in La Jolla Village News

Our own Dr. Johnson was featured in the October 27th edition of the La Jolla Villiage News. The article, written by Johnny McDonald, is shown here:

La Jolla specialists have established a CT-imaging program to lower the amount of radiation dosage needed for patients.

“The dramatic reduction of radiation dosage is based a great deal on the patient’s size, weight and age,” said Dr. John O. Johnson, a diagnostic radiologist at Imaging Healthcare Center. “We’re able to adjust the perimeters that control CT (X-ray computed tomography) exam dosage carefully and methodically.”

The center, located in the Regents Medical Plaza at 4150 Regents Park Row, Suite 195, is one of 11 imaging clinics in San Diego County. “We’re much more concerned about the exposure to radiation in youngsters and young adults,” Johnson said. “The reason for that is they are more radio sensitive. Their body cells are more quickly divided and they have a much longer life span.”

He said the exposure has been reduced by as much as 90 percent in select patients.

Statistics indicate the average American’s dose of radiation is six times greater than it was 10 years ago, predominantly due to the increased use in radiography as a diagnostic tool. Johnson said approximately 70 million CT scans are performed each year in the United States — about one in fiveadults. “With the rise in radiation exposure there is a theoretical increased risk of radiation-induced cancers,” he said.

Johnson received his diagnostic radiology residency training at UC, San Diego, where he served as chief resident in radiology. Since joining Radiology Medical Group in 1990, he has held several positions of leadership within the group. He currently sits on several committees within Scripps Health that deal with the selection and implementation of advanced medical imaging technology within the system.

Imaging examinations include MRIs, digital mammograms, lung cancer screening, angiography and osteoporosis evaluations. “CT is revolutionary in that we can diagnose conditions earlier and avoid more invasive, complicated procedures,” he said. “CT scans are lifesaving. Smoking, heavy drinking and environmental exposures are all cancer danger signs.”

We’re a leader in low dosage images and that’s the message we want to give the community,” he said.
Studies show that in the last 100 years, diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy have evolved from the original crude practices to advanced techniques that form an essential tool for all branches and specialties of medicine.

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