Are CT scans dangerous?

Research does demonstrate that in children, CT scans can lead to a small, but measurable increase in the risk of cancer.  How does one protect your child, yet obtain the x-rays that will give the proper diagnosis and are clinically indicated?

  1. I am of course referring to a CT (coronal) scan of sinuses used to diagnosis infection or anatomical nasal obstruction.  Many patients need CT of sinuses because the underlying cause of their runny nose has never been identified.
  2. Fortunately, coronal CT of sinuses exposes children to very little radiation because the area that is examined is very small (just the face)
  3. Coronal CT of sinuses does not require repeated examinations.  Once is usually enough!
  4. Usefulness of a plain sinus x-ray is questionable.  False negative rates (study is normal, but wrong) can be as high as 30-40% with a plain radiograph.  Take home message: benefit isn’t worth the risk.

Read the article below, but you probably don’t need to worry about CTs of the sinuses. 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-06-07/childrens-ct-scans-cancer/55439406/1

One thought on “Are CT scans dangerous?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s