ORLANDO — Patients hospitalized for acute MI receive an average cumulative ionizing radiation dose from imaging studies that's equivalent to 725 chest x-rays, a study indicated.
The study of 64,074 consecutive MI patients admitted at 49 academic hospitals during 2006-2009 showed that they received an average of four imaging studies involving ionizing radiation exposure totaling 14.52 mSv per admission, Dr. Prashant Kaul reported at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association.
That's nearly 5 times the average person's annual background radiation exposure, and close to 30% of the annual maximum permitted for radiation workers, noted Dr. Kaul, a cardiovascular medicine fellow at Duke University, Durham, N.C.
He and his coinvestigators are now trying to figure out how much of this radiation exposure might have been avoidable.
The study points to a new way to consider radiation safety in the medical environment, Dr. Kaul noted.
“Up until this point we've been thinking about radiation as it relates to an individual imaging test,” Dr. Kaul said. “How much radiation do I get with a CT scan? How much do I get with a cardiac catheterization? We're thinking about these doses in isolation. But we believe that it may be more appropriate to think about radiation doses per episode of care for a given diagnosis,” he said.
'It may be more appropriate to think about radiation doses per episode of care for a given diagnosis.'
Source DR. KAUL
MI patients receive nearly 5 times the average radiation exposure.
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