CT: benefit or harm?


Computed tomography is the study of internal organs using a special x-ray equipment and computers, based on the analysis of the attenuation of ionizing radiation in tissues of different density. The result of this scan becomes vysokoeffektivnoi three-dimensional image of the internal organs, which can be used to diagnose cardiovascular disease, cancer, injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, infectious diseases, disorders in the abdominal organs.

For the first time the use of CT scanning occurred in 1970, it was originally the x-rays in two-dimensional plane. The equipment for the procedure was primitive and the passage of imaging it brought harm to the health of the patient, since radiation exposure was extremely high. Modern equipment for computed tomography improved and allows to obtain information in three-dimensional space.

In the process of computed tomography x-ray tube irradiates the entire surface of the body of the patient, the radiation dose while in the 100-500 times higher than conventional x-ray examination. So there are some risks:

  • The radiative forcing. The dose of radiation received during the study, an order of magnitude higher than conventional x-ray examination. It is to a small extent increases the likelihood of malignant tumors.
  • The impact of contrast agents on the body. Before the procedure, the patient is injected intravenously or give to drink a special contrast agent. In most cases it is not detrimental to the health of the patient, but in rare cases, the contrast agent can cause nausea, vomiting or allergic reactions manifested by skin rash, itching, and sometimes anaphylactic shock.

It is worth remembering that more than just the risk to the health of people who are overweight, children and people up to 25 years. The fabric of these populations are very sensitive to radiation, because the cells of the young organism share much faster.

CT scan and pregnancy

When scanning of the pelvis is important to rule out pregnancy, because the fetus and the child more susceptible to radiation effects than an older child or an adult. Although pregnancy is not a contraindication to CT scanning, but for pregnant patients, it is preferable to choose for research those technologies that do not use ionizing radiation. Scanning of organs remote from the unborn child occurs scattered radiation, thus, the baby receives the minimum radiation dose. Computed tomography of the pelvis is performed only if the benefits of the research will be greater than the risk. The doctor may prescribe another method of diagnosis is ultrasound or MRI. If CT scan can not be avoided, it is necessary to take all protective measures to minimize radiation dose baby.

CT scan is considered the diagnostic method of the moderately high degree of radio emission. Thanks to the precise and detailed images, doctors can see fine details and to detect pathological processes in the body. To accept or reject the computed tomography depends on the patient, just benefit from accurate scanning is much higher than the allowable dose of radiation.

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