When undergoing cardiac PET imaging, the body is exposed to high doses of radiation. Exposure has made many worry about the potential health implications of undergoing imaging. However, the ALARA principle helps to minimize these impacts by limiting overall exposure.
What Is the ALARA Principle?
ALARA stands for As Low As Reasonably Achievable, and it refers to how much radiation is used to take images. This is a best practice, and it’s also predicated on legal doses used in all radiation programs.
Why Does Limiting Radiation Exposure Matter?
Generally speaking, the scientific assumption is that any radiation exposure can be harmful. Nevertheless, patients may need to receive some radiation during imaging procedures, causing worry. Limiting the level of radiation exposure decreases the risk of adverse events. For example, limiting radiation exposure lowers the odds of cancer or mutations. ALARA principles provide guidance when administering radiation to patients, protecting them.
How Do Doctors Implement ALARA Principles?
Providers must follow effective ALARA programs to limit their radiation exposure. You can expect to see the following when undergoing imaging here:
- Limited time spent under radiation
- Doubled distance between the body and radiation source
- Utilization of beta-particle-absorbent material
- Use of gamma-ray resistant material
Doubling the distance between patients and the source lowers exposure by a factor of 4.