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Thread: ct scans

  1. #1
    Member Cory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    fort worth, tx

    ct scans

    How bad are ct scans as far as how much radiation you are exposed to? Ive had a lot of problems with kidney stones and whenever Ive needed an xray Ive been doing a ct scan instead of an IVP, its impossible to find a vein on me to get the dye in and I thought it was probably healthier not using the dye.

    Ive probably had 5 over the last three years but thats just a guess, I read something Dr Young posted about it being risky and I tried to look on the internet but I mostly found stuff about the full body cts like what oprah did.

    Should I worry about it or is it like what some people say that you're exposed to more sitting in the sun etc. and its not a big deal, or is there a limit like I shouldnt do more than one a year or something? And is there a way I could find out how many Ive had, maybe call my insurance or something?


  2. #2
    cory - I have tried searching this site for your reference by Dr. Young, but have not found it. However, the NIH site: has the following information: CT scans and other x-rays are monitored and regulated to provide the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. CT scans provide low levels of ionizing radiation which has the potential to cause cancer and heritable defects. The risk associated with any individual scan is small; however, the risk increases as numerous additional studies are performed.

    Hope this is helpful; it does not exactly address your question/concern. However, I believe if the test is needed for accurate diagnosis, one has to weigh the risks of inaccurate diagnosis versus the potential testing risks....if that makes sense. All equipment such as a CT scanner must meet stringent criteria for patient safety. CRF

  3. #3
    cory, it is difficult to estimate the dosage of a CT scan because it varies so much from machine to machine, and also depends on what organ or scanning is being done. With the newer models that use much less x-radiation, the x-ray dosage for a CT scan on the kidney is probably no more than chest x-rays (AP & Lateral). I think that you are well within recommended safety limits.


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