Studies Lacking on Radiation Exposure from Cardiac Imaging

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An article in the Feb 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examines the available research on dose exposure for cardiac imaging and finds it lacking

Author Andrew Einsten, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center found no direct studies of cancer risk from cardiac imaging but could nonetheless project risk from other studies on radiation exposure, according to an article at CardiovascularBusiness.com.

Cardiac imaging requires some of the highest dose levels compared to other forms of diagnostic imaging. A single cardiac image could be equivalent to as many as 1,000 chest x-rays, Einstein writes.

Two studies of radiation dose show increased cancer risk. One, a Japanese study of atomic bomb survivors, showed increased risk for doses equivalent to a CT scan of the heart. The other, a Canadian study, showed that for the equivalent radiation, cancer risk increased 3 percent over five years.

Einstein writes that increased volume in nuclear SPECT myocardial perfusio and CT angiogram has raised concerns about appropriate radiation levels.

“If one takes dramatically increased volumes and multiplies them by high doses, the net result is a public health problem,” Einstein writes.

For the full article click here.