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‘Urgent’ action is needed to treat large numbers of patients receiving alarming doses of CT radiation


The use of CT scans is increasing rapidly across the world, the authors wrote on Thursday. And a recent US study found that patients receiving an exam over 50 mSv or a cumulative day is not as rare as you might think.

To explore the question further, Nassiri et al. and Massachusetts General Hospital rads analyzed dose data from eight CT scanners stationed at six facilities.

They recorded an average CED of 12.3 mSv, an average individual effective dose of 1.1 mSv and a collective effective dose of 521.3 person-Sv. In addition, seven people resuscitated more than 100 mSv from a single CT scan, while 0.36% had 10 or more exams in a year and 3.8% had five or more.

Nassiri and his co-authors also noted that their analysis took place during the pandemic, which saw an overall decline in the use of CT scans, “so actual data for normal years is likely to give [a] greater number of high dose patients.

In light of their findings, the Canadian system has proposed to reconsider its principles and foundations of radiation protection.

The team suggests organizations create their own imaging adequacy committee to ensure patient safety is a priority.

“In addition to the actions [the] hospital level, it is necessary [the] the attention of professional societies, radiation protection authorities at regional, national and government levels, ”added the team.

Read the full study here.