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?
- 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.
- Fortunately, coronal CT of sinuses exposes children to very little radiation because the area that is examined is very small (just the face)
- Coronal CT of sinuses does not require repeated examinations. Once is usually enough!
- 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.