In younger patients, the estimated radiation risks associated with abdominal and pelvic computed tomography (CT) scans are twice those of older patients, according to a study to be presented at the ARRS 2010 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.
"Estimating the risks associated with ionizing radiation is complex," said James Koonce, MD, lead author of the study. "Many variables such as patient size, age, and the region of the body being imaged all effect the total risk. Our study looked at how the overall risks associated with abdominal/pelvic CT scans depend on patient sex and age," said Koonce.
The study, performed at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, included 51 patients who underwent routine contrast-enhanced abdominal and pelvic CT examinations. "We found that the estimated radiation risk for a 31 year old (0.91 per 1,000) was about double that for a 74 year old (0.47 per 1,000). The median radiation risk to 25 males was 0.61 per 1,000 and for 26 females was 0.74 per 1,000," said Koonce.
"Clinicians ordering imaging tests must use their best clinical judgment to select patients with a reasonable pre-test probability that the diagnosis afforded by CT will give valuable information to effect patient management," he said.
"Knowing the risk involved with radiation exposure to a patient during an abdominal/pelvic CT allows for more accurate risk benefit evaluation when a physician is deciding whether or not to order an exam," said Koonce.
This study will be presented on Monday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time. For a copy of the abstract or to schedule an interview with Dr. Koonce, please contact Heather Curry via E-MAIL at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Röentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895.
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