Radiation is essential in modern medicine for diagnosis and clinical management of many kinds of disease. Diagnostic imaging has become increasingly complex, and manipulation of image information requires common concepts, terminology, and measurement methodology. This is essential for the benefit of the patient to ensure maximum diagnostic information with minimum potential risk.

Early on, ICRU prepared two reports, i.e., Reports 41 (1986) and 54 (1996) on subjects related to modern medical imaging, providing a theoretical framework on image quality and evaluation of medical imaging systems, including conventional and digital radiography, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medical imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, an­d ultrasonography.

More recently, Reports 67 (2002) and 74 (2005) addressed the issue of dose assessment in radio-diagnostic, which is of increasing concern as the average number of diagnostic procedures per capita is increasing. Reports on Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) Analysis in Medical Imaging, i.e., Report 79 (2008), on Quantitative Aspects of Bone Densitometry, i.e., Report 81 (2009), Assessment of Image Quality in Mammography, i.e., Report 82 (2009), and Image Radiation Dose and Image Quality Assessment in CT, i.e., Report 87 (2012) have been released.

ICRU is also undertaking new reports covering state-of-the-art imaging techniques (e.g., functional and molecular imaging) which are rapidly expanding and finding increasing use in diagnosis, in staging tumors, and in planning and delivering radiation therapy treatments.