Washington, Jan 4 (ANI): A new study led by University of Michigan researchers has shown that parents and doctors need to exercise caution before children are exposed to radiation during imaging procedures.
"Imaging tests are a critical component of good medical care, but the high number of tests raises questions about whether we are being judicious in our use of the technology," said Adam L. Dorfman.
The study found that over 400,000 imaging procedures were performed in just 3 years, with 42.5 percent of the children receiving at least one of these procedures and many undergoing multiple tests.
"What we've tried to do is raise awareness of the issue and start a national dialogue by identifying the overall scope of the problem," Dorfman said.
One limitation of this type of analysis is that the clinical appropriateness of the tests could not be determined, he added.
"The next step is to better understand when these tests really add value to the care of a child and when they do not," Dorfman added.
"Developing tissues in children are more sensitive to radiation and their longer expected life spans also allows additional time for the emergence of detrimental effects," said co-author, Reza Fazel.
"Of course, there is immense life-saving value in medical imaging, so our study doesn't suggest at all that these tests shouldn't be used in children," added co-author Kimberly E. Applegate.
"We have to be smarter about how we use tests. For example, children don't always need the same radiation dose during a CT scan to get the same quality of image and information."
The results of this study were published online today in the Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. (ANI)