Estimated risks of radiation-induced fatal cancer from pediatric CT

  • Brenner D
  • Elliston C
  • Hall E
 et al. 
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE. In light of the rapidly increasing frequency of pediatric CT examinations, the purpose of our study was to assess the lifetime cancer mortality risks attributable to radiation from pediatric CT.MATERIALS AND METHODS. Organ doses as a function of age-at-diagnosis were estimated for common CT examinations, and estimated attributable lifetime cancer mortality risks (per unit dose) for different organ sites were applied. Standard models that assume a linear extrapolation of risks from intermediate to low doses were applied. On the basis of current standard practice, the same exposures (milliampere-seconds) were assumed, independent of age.RESULTS. The larger doses and increased lifetime radiation risks in children produce a sharp increase, relative to adults, in estimated risk from CT. Estimated lifetime cancer mortality risks attributable to the radiation exposure from a CT in a 1-year-old are 0.18% (abdominal) and 0.07% (head)—an order of magnitude higher than for adults—although those figures st...

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