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Study highlights concerns about CT radiation

ADC Imaging Services already offering CT scans with lower radiation dosages

Researchers who conducted a recent study on the link between radiation exposure from CT scans and some cancers called for radiation doses to be kept as low as possible, particularly in children.

The international study, published in the medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday, followed almost 180,000 young patients who had CT scans in Britain between 1985 and 2002.

Researchers found that children who underwent several CT scans had a slightly higher risk for leukemia and brain tumors. The study’s authors noted that because the cancers are rare, the absolute risk remained small; however, clinical benefits of going through the scans should outweigh the risks.

It’s a concern ADC has been actively working to address.

“We have been progressive — if not more progressive — than other facilities in lowering the radiation doses our patients receive,” said Nick Arledge, ADC Director of Imaging Services.

Arledge says it’s important to understand that not all CT machines are the same and not all of the equipment emits the same dosage of radiation. It varies by facility.

He advises patients to ask questions no matter where you have your imaging study done.

Consult with your doctor about whether or not there are other diagnostic options that don’t use ionizing radiation, Arledge says. If your doctor says CT is the best option, you can call and compare facilities. Questions to ask include:

  • How old is the scanner?
  • What type of technology does it use?
  • Does the facility have the ability to reduce radiation on their scanner? (This includes dose reduction software or other techniques.)

ADC upgraded its CT scanner in December 2011. The new equipment often times lowers the radiation dosage by 30-50 percent below the standards set out by the American College of Radiology.

Resources

Lancet abstract
Wall Street Journal
New CT scanner takes crisper images with less radiation