Radiologist Questions Ct Scan

Are CT scans dangerous for children?

I saw an article that said that CT scans in children may increase the risk for leukemia, especially if they're under age 5. I saw this on NPR. Is this really true?

3 Answers

Has to be medically evaluated.
They are not dangerous. They only become dangerous when used inappropriately, i.e., numerous non-indicated repeat CT scans which can result in large radiation doses approaching the levels experienced by the Hiroshima survivors. A single CT scan of the chest is equal to almost 150 plain film chest X-rays in terms of dosage. Newer scanners have built-in dose reduction protocols and more sensitive X-ray detectors which help lower the dose of X-rays to the patient. The other think to consider is the injected X-ray dye. This is largely safe, but in patients with impaired renal function, those with dye allergies, and in diabetics can be harmful. The main thing to consider is risks vs. benefits with both the CT scan itself as well as the requirement for contrast injection vs. the benefits eg detecting a potentially life-threatening condition or “lesion.”
No, but you want a low dose CT.