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Lung. 2009 May-Jun;187(3):143-8. doi: 10.1007/s00408-009-9143-9. Epub 2009 Apr 7.

Estimating radiation risk from computed tomography scanning.

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Division of Pulmonary, Sleep & Critical Care Medicine, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, 593 Eddy Street, Providence, RI 02903-4970, USA.


Medical imaging is the largest contributor to per capita radiation dose in the United States. A majority of that medical imaging dose can be attributed to the increasing number of computed tomography (CT) procedures performed every year, at last count more than 62 million scans. As a result, increased attention to the possible risks of radiation exposure has entered the popular media and therefore the public at large. This review informs the medical practitioner on the nomenclature, dosimetry, and estimated risk of CT scan radiation exposure, thereby better allowing the clinician to address the risks/benefits of CT scanning and to answer questions concerning risk.

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