Computed tomography scans may increase the risk of brain tumors

My Times Today.

CT scans, commonly used in medical imaging, may increase the risk of brain tumours, a study has found.

The use of computed tomography scans has increased dramatically over the last two decades. CT scans greatly improve diagnostic capabilities, which in turn improve clinical outcomes.

However, they deliver higher radiation doses, and can especially affect children who are more susceptible to radiation-related malignancies than adults, researchers said.

Researchers from Netherlands Cancer Institute evaluated leukaemia and brain tumour risks following exposure to radiation from CT scans in childhood.

For a group of 168,394 Dutch children who received one or more CT scans between 1979 and 2012, researchers obtained cancer incidence and vital status by record linkage.

They surveyed all Dutch hospital-based radiology departments to ascertain eligibility and participation. In the Netherlands, paediatric CT scans are only performed in hospitals.

Overall cancer incidence was 1.5 times higher than expected. For all brain tumours combined, and for malignant and nonmalignant brain tumours separately, dose-response relationships were observed with radiation dose to the brain.

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