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Safety: Children and CT Scans

What is a CT scan and when are they necessary?

A CT scanner rotates to take X-ray images from different angles all around your body. A computer puts these images together to form detailed, two-dimensional pictures. CT provides clearer, more detailed pictures than traditional X-rays.

Do children receive lower doses of radiation than adults?

Yes, with CT scans we reduce the dose according to the size and weight of the child. Children often receive a fraction of the adult CT scan dose.

The amount of radiation exposure from x-rays, CT scans and other imaging studies is limited to the minimum that is necessary to answer the diagnostic question. At Massachusetts General Hospital for Children (MGHfC), we use computer decision support systems to help doctors decide whether to do a new scan or if a previous scan may be used. These policies are part of MGHfC’s extensive efforts in dose reduction.

Full story can be found on Mass General Hospital for Children.

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