Navigation Links
More U.S. Kids Get High-Radiation Scans, Study Says
Date:12/3/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing numbers of U.S. children undergo diagnostic imaging tests such as MRIs and CT scans, and higher-radiation tests account for a growing proportion of these procedures, researchers report.

Their study of 2001-2009 insurance claims in southern California found that high-radiation procedures, which could raise the risk of cancer years later, are most commonly ordered for hospitalized children or those seen in emergency departments because of abdominal pain, headache and head injury.

Overall, physicians affiliated with a pediatric hospital in San Diego ordered 200,000 diagnostic tests using radiation for 63,000 children during the period reviewed, the researchers said. Almost 8,000 of the children had higher-radiation procedures, such as CT scans, angiography (x-ray of the inside of blood vessels) and/or fluoroscopy (moving images).

Older children and boys were more likely than younger kids and girls to undergo these tests, the study said.

"Our findings may help guide clinical practice to reduce unnecessary imaging-related radiation exposure in youth," said lead researcher Dr. Jeannie Huang, an associate professor in the division of pediatric gastroenterology at Rady Children's Hospital, at the University of California, San Diego. The study's goal was to identify where most of these pediatric imaging procedures are ordered, and for which children.

"We focused in particular on diagnostic imaging procedures associated with higher ionizing radiation, including CT, fluoroscopy and angiography," Huang said. "We found that . . . they were done mostly for gastrointestinal complaints and congenital conditions. Trauma and injuries and neurologic complaints also contributed to the use of these tests."

The report was published online Dec. 3 and will appear in the January print edition of the journal Pediatrics.

According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, some 5 million to 9 million CT examinations are done each year on U.S. children. Their use in children and adults has increased about eightfold since 1980, growing about 10 percent each year, the agency says.

"Despite the many benefits of CT, a disadvantage is the inevitable radiation exposure," the agency says. Children are more sensitive to radiation exposure than adults because their bodies are still developing. Also, children have a longer life expectancy than adults, meaning more time for cancer to develop, and multiple scans further up the risk for developing cancer.

Over the past decade, awareness of the potential dangers of radiation has led children's hospitals in the United States to limit CT scans, said Dr. Nolan Altman, chief of radiology at Miami Children's Hospital in Florida.

"Our CT numbers are way down," said Altman. "We are doing much less CTs than we did 10 years ago." Many of these are being replaced by ultrasound and MRIs, which don't use radiation, he added.

Also, manufacturers have reduced radiation doses, Altman said. "In general, the dose is 30 to 40 percent less than it used to be," he said.

"For the average child, who has one CT scan or X-ray, parents should not be concerned," Altman added. However, a very sick child might need multiple scans, and "then there more reasons for concern," he said.

Imaging saves lives, said Dr. Marta Schulman, chair of the American College of Radiology Pediatric Imaging Commission. "Even if you believe the worst prophecy that you would get cancer, the chances of dying from the injury is 100 percent if you don't do the CT scan," she said.

Schulman said it is to be expected that most of these tests are done in the hospital, where patients are the sickest. Also, emergency department doctors don't know a child as well as the child's own doctor, so they need these tests to make a diagnosis, she said.

"You could turn this around and say there is less imaging done when you go to your doctor, because your doctor knows you, knows your family, knows your history," Schulman said. "In the emergency department, they don't have that luxury."

The key for doctors is to carefully evaluate the patient and do the test only if it's necessary and at the lowest possible dose of radiation, she said.

Also, proper interpretation of the results is key so that the test doesn't need to be repeated, she said.

Parents can play a role, she added. "Parents should ask about the test and why it is needed, but they shouldn't be so concerned that they avoid a test that is really necessary," Schulman said.

More information

For more on radiation risks for children, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Jeannie Huang, M.D., M.P.H. associate professor, division of pediatric gastroenterology, Rady Children's Hospital/University of California, San Diego; Marta Schulman, M.D., chair, American College of Radiology Pediatric Imaging Commission; Nolan Altman, M.D., chief, radiology, Miami Children's Hospital; January 2012 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
More U.S. Kids Get High-Radiation Scans, Study Says
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film ... Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by ... Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a ... fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes for ... Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , AIR ... care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers will ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due ... up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away ... a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice ... States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm ... Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... addition of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart ... Integrated Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves ... as load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... According to a new market ... Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, ... of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts ... market for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. ... by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces ... fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps ... and chloride in balance. Increasing number of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: