Concerns about radiation exposure in cardiac CT angiography
Cardiac CT angiography is new and popular field for non-invasive evaluation of coronary artery disease or blocks in the blood vessels supplying oxygenated blood to the heart. With the introduction of 64 slice CT (computed tomography), the number of CT scanners in the cardiology sections of United State has increased three fold in the past two years. The high negative predictive value in those with low to intermediate risk of coronary artery disease has made this test very popular, but the risk of radiation and the potential risk of cancer may come up in the future years.
A recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association by Jörg Hausleiter and associates and an accompanying editorial discusses this issue. They found that the radiation dose varied widely between different systems and centres. Modalities to reduce radiation dose did not significantly reduce the image quality. Hence they recommend the use of effective strategies to reduce the radiation dose in order to bring down any potential future risks.