Radiation risk of CT


Today we saw a 40 yo patient with symptomatic epilepsy after traumatic brain injury, who – always after a seizure – suffered through 18 CTs of his brain during the last 2 years. One of the residents rightfully asked about the quality of his eyesight and what his risk of brain cancer was.

Reminded of an excellent article in The Journal 2010 (someone downloaded the full text here) I looked up this study by the same author in order to be able to present our group some data. In essence we don’t really know much about the risk of CT and other medical radiation (such as DSA), since all our data stems from Hiroshima and Nagasaki – there is no better data.

Left with this uncertainty, we discussed the way, how ionizing radiation leads to cancer and how, faced with an uncertain risk, we can reduce the number and intensity of our scans, especially for those epilepsy patients. Maybe it helps a bit…


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