Concerns about radiation exposure from CT scans

February 3, 2009 2:49:16 PM PST
Those popular scans used to detect heart disease may be exposing patients to high doses of radiation. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds the amount of radiation in these CT scans varied widely.

In some cases those getting the so called 64-slice CT scan were exposed to the amount of radiation equal to 600 chest x-rays. In other cases it was double that amount.

Despite the big numbers, experts say the risk of developing cancer after a cardiac CT scan is slight, at less than 1 percent.

But researchers stress that doctors need to be aware of the high doses of radiation that go along with these scans and take steps to minimize them.