(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- An imaging device for the heart may be exposing
patients to harmful doses of radiation, a recent study shows.
An international team of researchers from 21 university hospitals and 29
community hospitals looked at almost 2,000 patients undergoing CCTA between
February and December 2007. They found the average dose of radiation was
equivalent to radiation from 600 chest X-rays. However, radiation doses varied
greatly at each location.
Cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is a diagnostic tool used to
check for coronary artery disease. It has also been suggested as a diagnostic
tool for patients who come into the emergency room complaining of chest pains.
By scanning 64 images per rotation, CCTA produces a detailed, three-dimensional
image of the heart.
Experts say the practicability of CCTA for the assessment of coronary artery
disease has to be weighed against its radiation exposure and the small but
potential risk of cancer.
"Many clinicians may still be unfamiliar with how much radiation exposure is
received during CCTA in daily practice and with the factors that contribute to
radiation doses," study authors wrote.
SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009;301(5):545-547