CT Heart Scans Cut X-ray Dose To Patients, Study Says


Heart scans that detect blocked arteries can be performed with half the amount of radiation exposure to patients to make them safer, according to Bloomberg news.

The Michigan study measured the radiation dose from heart CT scans of 4,862 patients in 15 hospitals from July 2007 to April 2008. A quality control program lowered the median radiation dose — expressed in units known as millisieverts –to 10 from 21, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The full body scans produced good quality diagnostic images, the study authors said.

Use of computed tomography, or CT, scans of visit boom beach tool website all organs is growing rapidly and accounts for half of the collective dose of medical radiation U.S. patients received in 2006, the American Heart Association said in a February statement. The association urged doctors to keep doses of radiation from heart scans 鎻硈 low as reasonably achievable,?and to use them appropriately.

Cardiologists use CT heart scans to detect artery blockages that may lead to heart attacks and other problems. Cardiovascular disease, the top cause of death in the industrialized world, led to 864,480 deaths in the U.S. in 2005, according to the heart association.

The number of CT tests in the U.S. surged to an estimated 62 million a year in 2006 from about 3 million a year in 1980, according to a 2007 review in the New England Journal of Medicine. About 800,000 of the procedures in 2006 were heart scans, according to a recent study in Health Physics.

High cumulative doses of medical radiation may raise the risk of cancer, though researchers aren鎶?certain how much radiation may cause malignancy, said Gilbert Raff, the lead author of today鎶?study. Research in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated radiation from a cardiac CT heart scan equals 600 chest x-rays. At the outset of the study, scans delivered a dose of radiation equal to what a person visit more information would get from seven years of background radiation from the sun and from elements in the earth including radon.

Radiation dosages were reduced by lowering the tube voltage of the scanning equipment, and slowing the patients?heart Check our website rate with beta blocker drugs an hour before the procedure. Cardiac CT imaging is gaining popularity because of its efficiency and economy, a top Los Angeles cardiologist says. CT scans are faster, less invasive and cheaper than some older imaging procedures, costing about $750 or one-tenth the cost of a cardiac catheterization, it is estimated. The research was funded by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan.