News | April 30, 2009

Radiation Safety Experts Warn Against Overuse of New Imaging Devices

April 30, 2009 - Radiation safety experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) say overuse of high-tech scanning procedures, such as computed tomography (CT), may unnecessarily expose patients to increased radiation levels.

Concern surrounds procedures such as CT because they deliver higher doses of radiation to patients in comparison to conventional X-rays. It's been estimated that the average radiation dose of one CT scan is equal to roughly 500 chest X-rays. And that can increase a patient's lifetime risk of cancer, particularly if CT scans are repeated.

The IAEA, in collaboration with other international organizations, is developing a series of measures aimed at strengthening patient protection. The focus of recent efforts is a Smart Card project, to log how much radiation a person receives in the course of a lifetime.

"The medical application of ionizing radiation is the fastest growing source of radiation exposure to human beings today," says Renate Czarwinski, head of the IAEA's radiation safety and monitoring section. "We acknowledge the great value of the new technologies, but want to ensure that each and every examination is justified. The radiation protection of patients is also important."

According to the latest estimates of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), as many as 4 billion diagnostic X-ray examinations are carried out worldwide each year. This represents an increase of more than 17 percent over the last 10 years in the collective dose to the world's population.

In particular, the use of CT scanning has grown dramatically in recent years. This X-ray based procedure provides three-dimensional views of, for example, organs or blood vessels and represents unparalleled advances in terms of clarity of image, ease of application and patient friendliness. For this reason there is a growing tendency for more and more CT examinations to be carried out. But published reports in medical literature, for example the November 2007 New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that up to 50 percent of all scans done today are questionable on the grounds of medical justification.

For more information: www.iaea.org

Related Content

Siemens Healthineers Announces First U.S. Install of Somatom go.Top CT
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 17, 2018
September 17, 2018 — The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus recently became the first healthcare
Key Patient Preparations for a CT Scan
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 05, 2018
The Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI) in Miami recently released a list of important preparations patients should...
Videos | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 25, 2018
A discussion with Patricia Dickson, LRT(CT), director of imaging and outpatient services, Capital Cardiology Associat
Videos | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 23, 2018
Ed Nicol, M.D., FSCCT, MBA, head of cardiac CT, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, and chair of the Society of Cardiova
Videos | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 17, 2018
An interview with Patrick Serruys, M.D., Ph.D., Imperial College London, principal investigator of the SYNTAX III Tri
Zebra Medical Vision Announces FDA 510(k) Clearance of Coronary Calcium Algorithm
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 12, 2018
Zebra Medical Vision has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Coronary...
IAC Awards First CT Accreditation for a Mobile Stroke Unit
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | July 09, 2018
The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) recently recognized the University of Tennessee Health Science Center...
FFR-CT may soon replace invasive angiography for coronary lesion assessment. #EuroPCR 

Anexample of a clinical case of CT-FFR, which can derive the FFR numbers for their entire coronary tree using a noninvasive CT scan.

Feature | Computed Tomography (CT) | May 29, 2018
May 29, 2018 — Results from the innovative SYNTAX III Revolution Trial [1] underline the effectiveness of evolving no
James Min Named Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | May 01, 2018
James K. Min, M.D., FSCCT, has been selected for a five-year term as the new editor-in-chief of the Journal of...
FDA Clears Siemens' Somatom go.All, go.Top CT Scanners
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | April 18, 2018
April 18, 2018 — The U.S.
Overlay Init