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Radiation-related risks of imaging studies

Christoph I Lee, MD
Joann G Elmore, MD, MPH
Section Editor
Mark D Aronson, MD
Deputy Editor
H Nancy Sokol, MD


Ionizing radiation from medical imaging now accounts for nearly half of the radiation exposure experienced by the population in the United States [1,2]. Medical imaging may contribute less to total radiation exposure in other countries, however; 2005 data from the United Kingdom, for example, suggest that an average annual dose of imaging accounted for approximately one-sixth of annual exposure to ionizing radiation [3].

This topic will present an overview of the measurement of radiation associated with medical imaging, the effects of radiation exposure, the radiation associated with specific diagnostic imaging studies, and issues in clinical decision-making, including informed consent. Other related topics, including discussions of radiation injury, diagnostic imaging in pregnancy, and radiation exposure in cardiovascular imaging are presented separately.

(See "Biology and clinical features of radiation injury in adults".)

(See "Diagnostic imaging procedures during pregnancy".)

(See "Radiation dose and risk of malignancy from cardiovascular imaging".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jun 19, 2015.
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