Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New tracking of patient's radiation exposure

In the May 21 edition of The Wall Street Journal, Mass General Radiologist-in-Chief and Image Wisely Co-Chair James A. Brink, MD discusses radiation dose in the context of efforts to track patient exposure.

Dr. Brink notes that for most diagnostic imaging, the added cancer risk is so small it can only be measured on a population rather than an individual basis. He also notes that even exposure data isn't a reliable measure because it can vary highly by such factors as age, gender, the body part exposed to radiation and the patient's size.

The Department of Radiology at Mass General has been active in reducing radiation exposure for more than a decade, striving to develop procedures that ensure the lowest possible dose for each exam while still maintaining full diagnostic confidence. Recent studies by Mass General researchers, including a study published in the May issue of Radiology, make the case that risks from medical conditions often far outweigh the risks of radiation.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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