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Med Princ Pract. 2012;21(6):508-15. doi: 10.1159/000337404. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Radiation dose features and solid cancer induction in pediatric computed tomography.

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Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. ernestpauwels @


Over the past two decades technical advances and improvements have made computed tomography (CT) a valuable and essential tool in the array of diagnostic imaging modalities. CT uses ionizing radiation (X-rays) which may damage DNA and increase the risk of carcinogenesis. This is especially pertinent in pediatric CT as children are more radiosensitive and have a longer life expectancy than adults. The purpose of this paper is to review and elucidate the potential harmful effects of ionizing radiation in terms of solid cancer induction from pediatric CT scanning. In the light of scientific and technical developments, we will also discuss the possible strategies and ongoing efforts to reduce CT radiation exposure in pediatric patients. In this context, we will not ignore the fact that a well-justified CT scan may exceed its risk and have a favorable impact.

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