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Radiation Dose From Adult and Pediatric Multidetector Computed Tomography

H. William Strauss, MD, Reviewer
JAMA. 2008;299(8):962-963. doi:10.1001/jama.299.8.962.
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Radiation Dose From Adult and Pediatric Multidetector Computed Tomography provides a timely, concise, clear discussion of the theory and biologic implications of radiation exposure, as well as approaches to minimize radiation dose to patients and medical staff. The hazards of radiation exposure often make headlines. For example, in November 2007, 6 months after the publication of this text, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article entitled “Computed Tomography—An Increasing Source of Radiation Exposure.”1 That article cited data suggesting an increased risk of cancer in radiation workers exposed to doses of 5 to 150 mSv. Multiplying the reported risk by the estimated 62 million computed tomography (CT) scans performed each year in the United States, radiation exposure from CT procedures may increase the lifetime risk of cancer by 1.2% to 2%. This information was picked up by the New York Times, which published an editorial on November 30, 2007, entitled “Problematic Medical Scans.” The editorial added fuel to this fearful fire by quoting a statement from the article that “ . . . a third of all CT scans performed in the United States could be replaced by less risky diagnostic technologies. . . . ”


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