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New CT scan may help reduce excess radiation

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

A newly developed computerized tomography (CT) technique may be capable of significantly reducing a patient's exposure to excess radiation compared to standard helical CT scanning, a recent study has found.

Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center have found that patients who were given a coronary angiography heart scan using the newer CT scanner technology received 91 percent less radiation than those who were scanned using the standard method.

In the study, lead researcher Andrew Einstein, director of cardiac CT research at Columbia, and his colleagues compared the radiation therapy effects of a traditional 64-detector row CT scanner to the recently developed 320-detector row volume scanner, according to Health Day News.

The researchers found that the effective radiation dose for the standard helical scan was 35.4 millisieverts, while the volume scan only emitted 4.4 mSv.

"As CT technology advanced from 16- to 64-slice capabilities, the radiation dose went up significantly," said Einstein. "Today, technology development is going in the opposite direction, reducing radiation exposure."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently said that it will issue new requirements for CT scanners to protect patients from excess radiation exposure, Reuters reports.

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