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Computed Tomography — An Increasing Source of Radiation Exposure

The number of computed tomographic (CT) studies performed is increasing rapidly. Because CT scans involve much higher doses of radiation than plain films, we are seeing a marked increase in radiation exposure in the general population. Epidemiologic studies indicate that the radiation dose from even two or three CT scans results in a detectable increase in the risk of cancer, especially in children. This article summarizes the facts about this form of radiation exposure and the implications for public health. By its nature, CT involves larger radiation doses than the more common, conventional x-ray imaging procedures [New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 29, 2007]

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