Navigation Links
Hazards of CT scans overstated

College Park, MD (November 30, 2007) Concerns over possible radiation effects of CT scans detailed in a report yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine should not scare people away from getting medically needed CT scans, as the scans play a critical role in saving the lives of thousands of people every day, according to an official with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM).

In a statement issued Friday, Dr. John M. Boone, chairman of AAPMs science council, says that the science community remains divided over the radiation dose effects of CT scans and that the findings in the Journal article were based on flawed assumptions and were not conclusive. While agreeing with the Journal articles authors, Drs. David Brenner and Eric Hall, that CT scans should only be used judiciously and when medically necessary, Boone says CT experts in the AAPM feel that much of the message of this article may be misconstrued or misunderstood by the press or by the public who may not be experts in CT.

Brenner and Hall, in their article, said that while they save lives and speed diagnosis, the 62 million CT scans done in the United States each year may soon be responsible for 2 percent of all cancers. They further suggested that their back of the envelope estimate is that about a third of all CT scans are unnecessary.

Boone responds in his statement that the assumptions about the hazards of CT scan radiation exposure remain controversial, even among experts in radiation biology. The method of determining risk used in the article is derived from Japanese citizens exposed to large amounts of radiation during the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, and the extrapolation of those extremely high radiation exposure rates down to the low CT exposures remains very controversial, Boone says.

Another significant flaw in the article was the attempt to compare the Japanese bomb victims to patients receiving CT in the US in 2007, Boone says. The article did not correct for the many underlying confounding age dependent variables that differ between (the Japanese population) and older Americans, such as the incidence of obesity and diabetes.

Boone encourages patients who have had CT scans, or are slated for CT exams in the next few weeks, to discuss with their physicians not only the radiation risks of the CT examination, but the risks of not having the diagnostic information that CT provides.

While Boone notes that Brenner and Hall are esteemed scientists and respected experts in radiation risk . . . the conclusions of the Brenner article are based on statistics and many statistical assumptions (and not) on the actual observation of somebody dying from having a CT scan.


Contact: Cecilia A. Hunter
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related medicine news :

1. Hazards of using crib bumper pads outweigh their benefits
2. European directive will halt use of MRI scans; cancer diagnosis and treatment will suffer
3. PET scans can accurately detect a breast tumors response to chemotherapy
4. High-tech CT scans: not a bad choice to test for clogged arteries
5. New Computerized Scans Effective for Spotting Clogged Arteries
6. PET scans useful for some cancer treatment, but how do patients fare?
7. PET Scans Can Spot Cervical Cancers Return
8. Post-treatment PET scans can reassure cervical cancer patients
9. CT scans to determine heart disease in the emergency room
10. Obesity Keeps Patients From Needed CT Scans After Surgery
11. PET Scans Could Boost Lung Cancer Diagnosis
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has ... he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The ... first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s ... setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those ... goal. , Research from reveals that behind the tendency to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who ... with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, ... Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ITASCA, Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling ... states are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan ... , a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the ... rating to only four states – Kentucky , ... and Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data derived ... Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the market ... of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... to their offering. The ... commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing population ... to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The introduction ... considerably, but development is still in its infancy. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: