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Cancer danger in abdominal CT scans

Abdominal CT scans overused – U.S. study  By Julie Steenhuysen C HICAGO, Nov 30 (Reuters) – More than half of patients receiving abdominal CT scans, an advanced type of X-ray, got them for tests they did not need, exposing them to excess radiation that could raise the long-term risk of cancer, U.S. researchers said on Monday.The study, presented on Monday at the Radiological Society of North America meeting in Chicago, adds to mounting evidence that Americans are exposed to an increasing amount of radiation from diagnostic imaging exams.In August, a team at Emory University in Atlanta reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that as many as 4 million Americans a year are exposed to high doses of radiation.A report in March from the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement found Americans were exposed to seven times more radiation from diagnostic scans than in 1980…………….


Some patients got a lot more radiation than others. In one in five patients, the dose was 50 millisieverts, enough to raise some concerns about health problems, Guite said. Seven of the 500 got 100 millisieverts of radiation, a level known to raise the risk of cancer.

“At the dose seen in our study, one in 1,000 patients could get a radiation-induced cancer,” Guite told the meeting.

“This could lead to up to 23,000 radiation-induced cancers per year,” she said.

Many of the scans they looked at involved the use of a contrast agent — a fluid injected into a patient’s veins that makes the images more clear……………
it was possible some centers were doing the extra scans because they may get paid more for them.

Abdominal CT scans overused – U.S. study | Reuters

December 1, 2009 - Posted by | 1, health, USA | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. How does one find out how many millisieverts you are being exposed to. Does it depend on the Model CT Machine that is used? And if so, does it depend on how old the Equipment is?
    Or does it depend on the type of imaging being obtained?
    For example: Is it that a CT with Contrast is exposing you to more radiation than a CT without contrast?

    Comment by transparnc | December 15, 2009 | Reply

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