, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 1-3
Date: 12 Jan 2010

Importance of consideration of radiation doses from cardiac imaging procedures and risks of cancer

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In recent years, there has been more attention and publicity to the radiation exposure experienced by patients undergoing cardiac imaging procedures such as computed tomography coronary angiography (CTA) and SPECT and PET perfusion imaging. The risk of radiation-related cancer risk from CT scans performed in the United States has not been adequately appreciated. Recent publications have voiced concern regarding future cancer risks from the many CT scans performed on an annual basis in the United States.1-3 What is surprising and somewhat alarming is that radiation doses from diagnostic CT examinations are higher and more variable than generally quoted.3,4 The issue is not a trivial one since between 1992, the number of CT scans performed in the United States quadrupled. In 2007 alone, 72 million CT scans were performed.5 It was estimated that from this number, 29,000 excess cancers would result causing 15,000 deaths in the next 20 to 30 years. Another study published in the New England ...