ASNR Response to Lancet Article


A recently published study in The Lancet (Radiation exposure from CT scans in childhood and subsequent risk of leukaemia and brain tumours: a retrospective cohort study; Mark S Pearce et al., The Lancet 07 June 2012) reports that cumulative radiation exposure from multiple computed tomography scans during childhood could increase the risk of developing cancer as an adult. The American Society of Neuroradiology urges parents to weigh the risks and benefits of CT exams that are recommended for their children. It is important to realize that current radiation doses are much lower than those reported in the Lancet study, which was conducted 1985 to 2002.  Physicians are well aware of the potential harm caused by radiation, and order CT scans when the value of a rapid, accurate diagnosis exceeds the risk. For this reason, the risks of CT scanning usually are very small compared to the benefits. If a parent is concerned about the risk of a CT scan, he or she should discuss this with their pediatrician, a radiologist or a medical physicist. We encourage parents to visit the following websites that address concerns raised from the Lancet article and learn more about radiation exposure associated with pediatric CT scanning.

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