Should risk from medical imaging be assessed in the absence of benefit and vice versa?
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Diagnostic radiology has an image problem. In its effort to develop a better understanding of benefit–risk in medical radiology, data on potential risks associated with medical imaging have been welcomed into the medical community. As such, risk perspectives and mantras from the occupational health profession have been adopted and applied to patients. These perspectives often focus on risk with only casual, incidental, or no reference to the benefits experienced by patients. These occupational health viewpoints have accumulated over decades, have overshadowed a very limited perspective about the benefits of medical X-rays, and have become an integrated part of our profession. This review argues that the medical profession should abandon perspectives on risk that are adopted from occupational health professions and focus on perspectives that realistically focus on the medical benefit–risk for patients.
KeywordsMedical imaging Radiation Benefit–risk As low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) As high as reasonably achievable (AHARA)
Conflicts of interest
Dr. Wagner declares a financial interest as a partner in RM Partnership and has no investigational or off-label uses to disclose.
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