12.19.2007

Recommendations On CT Scanning, UK

The Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) has published a number of recommendations* on the use of computed tomography (CT) X-ray scans by private clinics. This advanced X-ray technique is increasingly being used to provide examinations of people who have no symptoms of illness (asymptomatic individuals). While a CT scan undoubtedly provides valuable diagnostic information, such scans produce a significant radiation dose to the patient and this needs to be justified on medical grounds.

COMARE have looked at this practice in depth and have made nine recommendations. The Agency supports the recommendations made by the Committee. In particular, the Agency notes the recommendation that services offering whole body scanning of asymptomatic individuals should stop doing so immediately. There is very little evidence that any benefit of this practice outweighs the potential risk of a significant radiation dose. Until such evidence is produced, the Agency strongly supports COMARE's recommendation that the practice should stop.

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