Radiation Exposure in Diagnostic Imaging: Better to Err on Safe Side

Maseeh uz Zaman, Nosheen Fatima, Zafar Sajjad, Unaiza Zaman


Ionizing radiation including X-rays and gamma rays are the most common radiations used in medical imaging for diagnosis and management. In last two decades there has been a tremendous rise in utilization of computed tomography (CT) especially after introduction of multislice machines and myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) in nuclear medicine. Furthermore it is expected to escalate in near future since hybrid imaging using PET/CT has become standard of care in many cancers. According to National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) report published in 2009, in United States (US) over a period of 10 years (1998 to 2008) CT based procedures had increased from 26 million to 70 million and nuclear medicine procedures from 12 million to 20 million. Importantly these numbers are almost 50% of the CT and NM (primarily MPI) procedures performed globally.  

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