CT for Children are vulnerable to brain cancer and leukemia

CT for Children are vulnerable to brain cancer and leukemia



Parents can limit the risk when doctors suggested a CT scan for the child.


A new study shows a CT scan of the head in children may increase the risk of brain cancer or leukemia later. Although CT many times can increase more than three risks, the absolute risk is still very small - 1/10.000 cases a CT scan of the head.

By Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, lead author of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, this is the first study to look at real risk of cancer of the radiation from CT scans.


Results of data collection of nearly 180,000 British patients under age 22 had a CT scan during 1985-2002 found that 71 patients with leukemia and 135 people with brain cancer. The relative risk for leukemia and brain cancer increased respectively 0.036 and 0.023 per milli-Gray used more. Every one CT scan before the age of 10 will be added to the first cases of leukemia and one case of brain cancer in 10,000 patients 10 years after the first exposure.

Children are more sensitive to radiation than adults, and parents can limit the risk when doctors suggested a CT scan for the child. Parents should talk to their doctor if necessary CT scan or other tests can not provide the same information without radiation, such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.

The study was published online June 7 issue of The Lancet.