Most CT scans may be unnecessary

More than half of patients who undergo abdominal/pelvic CT scans receive unnecessary imaging tests that put them at risk for radiation-induced cancer, according to new research from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. 

Dr. Kristie Guite and colleagues studied 978 CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis that were performed on 500 patients and found that 52.2 percent of the patients' scans weren't necessary, Reuters reports. Moreover, the average excess radiation dose per patient was 11.3 millisieverts, about the equivalent of 113 chest X-rays.

"At the dose seen in our study, one in 1,000 patients could get a radiation-induced cancer," Guite said Monday during a presentation of her results at the Radiological Society of North America meeting in Chicago.  

Radiation overdoses have been prominent in the news for quite some time, now. In October, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and GE Healthcare were named as co-defendants in a class-action suit representing patients who possibly received radiation overdoses during CT brain scans. In those cases, hundreds of patients had received more than eight times the normal dose of radiation required. 

For more information:
- check out this Reuters article