Dr. Greene’s Answer:
Minimize the number of CT scans. Radiologists should review the reasons given for any CT scan, and communicate well with the ordering doctor about other alternatives such as ultrasound or MRI.
Adjust the dose for all CT scans for children. The lowest practical dose should be used, based on several factors:
- The child’s individual size and weight.
- Scanning the smallest area possible.
- Adjusting the settings for the organ being scanned (some areas need less radiation).
- Don’t be a photographic perfectionist. High resolutions are not always important to make the diagnosis needed. Often, lower resolution scans are a better choice.
Try to avoid multiphase CT scans. When contrast is given, and then several CT scans are performed to follow the contrast, the total amount of radiation may be multiplied more than the value of the extra information.
Read More From This Series:
CT Scan Defined
CT Scan, Ultrasound or MRI?
CT Scan Safety
CT Scans and Radiation Exposure
CT Scan Risks
Higher Risks in Children
Who Should Receive a CT Scan?
X-Ray or a CT Scan?
Alternatives to a CT Scan
When Should a CT Scan be Performed?
Important Tip to Reduce to Radiation
Questions to Ask before Every CT Scan
Other Radiation Exposures
Measures That Radiologists Should Adhere to When Administering a CT Scan
CT Scans and Cancer
When are MRIs not Practical?
What is Ionizing Radiation?
Who are Radiologists?
Last reviewed: February 14, 2008