Jan 22, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

CT Scans for Usual Common Health Problems in Children

Aug 26, 2015 09:39 PM EDT

Studies have encouraged the decline in the usage of Computed Tomography or CT scans, especially in pediatrics. This is due to the studies that have shown the increase of exposure with radiation to children can be harmful and possibly cancerous. Children, for a fact, are more vulnerable to the consequences of exposure and have still many more years to develop cancer in the long run.  According to the article published in JAMA Pediatrics lead by a Ph.D., of the Group Health Research Institute and University of California, Diana L. Miglioretti, "The increased use of CT in pediatrics, combined with the wide variability in radiation doses, has resulted in many children receiving a high-dose examination"

CT scans have revolutionized the way diagnostic science determine diseases over the years. It is undeniable efficient and time-saving, but the studies showed that these machines have been emitting 100-1000 times higher than the regular doses through conventional radiology. Most complaints of pain, or infection we're almost always directed for a CT scan, increasing the risks of leukemia and brain cancer from head CT scan and radiation-induces solid cancer for abdominal CT scan.

Alternatives are being considered for less risk like Magnetic Image Resonance (MRI) which is more popular in diagnosing eight out of ten diseases and also the Electronic Health Records (EHR) makes it easier for distribution of data instead of having multiple scans. 

A study shows that the risk of radiation is greater with girls undergoing CT scans for pelvic, abdominal, chest and spine. In another editorial by Alan R. Schroeder MD of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Rita F. Redberg, MD., editor of JAMA Internal Medicine discouraged physicians in using CT scan for kids, and to be cautious and consider minimal radiation exposure.  

"This will require a shift in our culture to become more tolerant of clinical diagnoses without confirmatory imaging, more accepting of 'watch and wait' approaches, and less accepting of the 'another test can't hurt' mentality," Alan said. It is now encouraging to begin exploring other possibilities and procedures in helping diagnostics with pediatrics.

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