Radiation Exposure in Pediatric Orthopaedic Imaging


In recent years, advances in imaging technology have led to greater utilization of radiography, CT, and other imaging studies among medical practitioners. This has perhaps occurred most notably with the use of CT scans. However, the benefits that these studies provide in diagnostic insight must be weighed against their potential risks to patients, specifically in terms of radiation exposure. Thus, for example, although the effective dose of radiation in CT studies of distal anatomic elements is relatively low, the dose to more proximal structures can be more significant. Computed tomographic scanning of the spinal column and pelvis in particular imparts an effective dose of radiation that is an order of magnitude higher than that delivered in radiographic studies. In the future, research studies may attempt to better correlate patients’ clinical outcomes with the expenditure of radiation in different types of imaging studies.

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