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Has anyone here had one? I had 4 the past 15 months and feel pretty stupid because I wasn't aware of the radiation dangers at the time. I was given a nuclear stress test that exposes one to an enormous amount of radiation. I still complained about chest pain then was given a CTA scan. Then a year later I had an abdominal and pelvic scan and 3 months later took a trip to the emergency room with upper back pain and chest pain and was given a scan there after I asked for an alternative like an MRI but was told they don't use them in emergency situations. Anyway, I estimate that I received over 100 msv of radiation exposure from the 4 tests. After research I discovered that medical scans are largely unregulated and the amount of radiation a person receives varies widely. One scan is equivalent to several hundred xrays.
I get conflicting studies when I google. Some studies show increases in heart and blood vessel damage and increases in certain types of cancers while other studies show minor risks. For example, 25% of the general population will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, but exposure to moderate amounts of radiation(under 250 msv) will increase one's risk to around 25.1%.
Not sure what to believe.
You will probably turn into the Hulk, so be careful
you'll be fine. I make nuclear medicine every day. That's less radiation than you would receive flying in an airplane a few times. If you live long enough you will likely get cancer anyway, so don't sweat it.
According to my research, that isn't true at all. On an airline flight one is exposed to less than half the radiation of a single xray. CT scans have the same radiation as several hundred xrays.
100 msv is the same as 10,000 mrem.
This post was edited by RSemmes 16 months ago
They are generally safe. It's much better to have a CT scan and find out what's wrong with you now, accepting a marginally increased cancer risk than to let whatever problem you might have develop.
Meh. I work at nuclear power plants and pick up rem every year. You'll be fine.
Yes, that is correct. 50,000 mRem/yr is the occupational limit. I received 30k mRem last year, and there are many healthcare professionals out there with similar exposures that have done this for 30+ years with no presentations of cancer that can be tied to their occupation. I'm only 29 years old, and if I felt this was really unsafe, i certainly wouldn't continue practicing nuclear medicine for the remainder of my career. I might also add that acute exposure like what you received isn't as harmful as continued exposure.
This post was edited by Shankopotamus39 16 months ago
2rem/year is typical Nuclear plant limits although 5rem is Federal limit
You are getting acute exposure which is worse though
Steve Spurrier is a God, and Mark Richt worships him
How much do you receive per scan ?
10 rem is a good bit to receive in a short amount of time
Ya no way you get 10 rem in a scan. Not even close.
You would have some major side affects if that was the case..no way that's right
According to this chart OP's estimate is a little (a lot) exaggerated. Is this a troll attempt?
The average nuclear stress tests is around 40 to 50 msv because they scan you, then you go on a treadmill to get your heartrate up, then they inject you with some radioactive dye, then they scan you a second time.
CTA is around 20 to 25 msv. They really don't keep accurate records, though on the last chest scan I demanded a read out and was given the figure of 1290 mGy cm which I estimated to be 23 msv from online conversion tables. People are completely ignorant about how much radiation they are being exposed to in medicine. Even doctors are clueless, and if you ask medical records for info on radiation exposure from a CT scan, they seem clueless. There is little to no oversight.
Not at all.
Perhaps a Health Physicist will chime in. I admit that dosimetry isn't my expertise per se, but I also don't think you have anything to be concerned about.
over 10 rem from 4 scans.
That's per your estimate. No offense I just don't think it's right. I deal with radiation everyday and using that chart the CT number don't seem high. The stress test is though.
Maybe this will help answer your questions.
Given the huge increase in the use of CT scans, concern about radiation exposure is warranted. Patients should try to keep track of their cumulative radiation exposure, and only have tests when necessary.
4 rem is average for a nuclear stress test, but because I was overweight, it was increased closer to 5 rem. That was from a single test. I had 3 other scans that probably averaged around 2.0 to 2.5 rem each. I was probably exposed to a total of 10 rem or more in 15 months not including some xrays and natural background radiation. Needless to say, I will never get another CT scan again unless I am near death.
There have been cases where people were exposed to 9 rem in one test. The operator can adjust the amount of radiation used and with very little oversight. The priority is getting clear pictures, not how much radiation they expose the patient to.
What is scary is that regulation is voluntary. Some hospitals and clinics will get certified by The American College of Radiology. You can check to see if your hospital or clinic in on the list with this link.
Check your chart for nuclear stress test. It says 40 msv which is 4 rem. Like I said, I was overweight, so they increase the intensity to a higher level. That is just from one test. According to your chart, the range for CTA is 5.0 to 32. The last test I demanded a read out and it was 23.5 msv which is 2.35 rem.
I know, I said the stress test is high but the CT's aren't. Example the chest CT is about .2 rem.
I didn't get a simple chest CT, I received a CT, angiogram(CTA).
Are you recovering from cancer? What was the purpose of all the CT exams? Did the benefits of knowing how to fix those problems outweigh the small risk of possibly developing cancer one day(which you will if you live long enough).
Naturally priority is given to getting a clear picture otherwise why get the scan in the first place? If you have grainy images might as well avoid the scan altogether.
Why did you get a nuclear stress over a treadmill stress? Alternatives to looking at coronary vessels include cardiac catheterization which if course has its own risks. In an ER situation they are looking to rule out life threatening events like heart attacks. MRIs are much longer exams which would delay a diagnosis and frankly aren't always even available during certain times of day depending on facility. Still other people cannot have an MRI for various reasons.
If you are a bigger guy complaining of chest pain and go to any ER you will likely receive blood work and EKG to start. If those are negative may get CXR plus/minus CT to rule out things like dissection etc. All this depends on individual complaints and situation.
CT scans are X-rays that are basically stacked one on another that can be made to produce 3D images of an area. How much radiation as you mentioned depends on body habitus, area scanned, and thickness of the "slices". Most of these are all defined by software, protocols for the desired scan, and then tweaked by the technician. The amount of radiation to achieve adequate images has dropped and continues to drop as sensors and software improve.
I have no health problems. They found nothing.
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