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Teleradiology PIN of the Week: CT Radiation Exposure in Children


Our Teleradiology PIN of the week relates to an article by Alice Park reporting for Time Healthland, entitled: CT Scans in Childhood Can Triple the Risk of Cancer.

The article cites a recent study to be published in The Lancet (Pearce et al), which tracked cancer rates among children who had had CT scans during their first 15 years of life and compared them to children who did not have the same exposure to radiation from the scans.

Researchers found that children who had had two to three CT scans in childhood had triple the risk of later developing brain tumors, and children who had had 5 to 10 scans also had three times the risk of developing leukemia, a blood cancer.

The radiology industry reacts to the study:

The American College of Radiology (ACR) issued a statement which stressed the value of imaging while also acknowledging the importance of understanding risks. The ACR urged parents not to deny their children needed medical imaging care based on The Lancet study and emphasized the use of ACR Appropriateness Criteria®-based decision support.

The ACR Appropriateness Criteria® educates providers on which exam is best for a patient’s condition (or when no scan is warranted). This process ensures that patients get the right scan for the right reason at the right time, reduces inappropriate imaging, helps avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation, and is proven to improve quality and lower cost by ensuring appropriate imaging and that providers obtain needed information from the correct scan.

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