Journal of Nuclear Cardiology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 566–569 | Cite as

Radiation exposure in diagnostic imaging—use, misuse, or abuse? Part I: The background and science of medical radiation

  • Kim Allan WilliamsSr.Email author
  • Kalyani Ballapuram
Review Article

Perspective on Medical Radiation for Medical Imaging

Diagnostic use of radiation has progressed from Wilhelm Roentgen’s image of his wife’s hand in 18951 to 4-dimensional images of cardiac anatomy, function, perfusion, and metabolism. Imaging is widely used in the twenty-first century, with growth stimulated by the clinical insights gained for patient care.

Cardiac imaging with nuclear medicine techniques and x-ray computed tomography (CT) results in the largest exposure of ionizing radiation to the US population. In fact there was a 700% increase in radiation exposure to patients from 1986 until 2006. Radiation exposure is increasing at rate of 5% per year with 25% collective dose.2,3 This includes CT growth at about 10% per year. Cardiac CT has accounted for 1.5% of radiation exposure, and is increasing gradually.

Among nuclear medicine studies, cardiac imaging represents 57% of the number of studies and 85% of the radiation dose. The frequency of these procedures increased by 10% or...


Radiation Exposure Nuclear Cardiology Coronary Compute Tomography Angiography Cardiac Compute Tomography SPECT Myocardial Perfusion Imaging 
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Copyright information

© American Society of Nuclear Cardiology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiology, Harper University HospitalWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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