|Raleigh Radiology is committed to quality, accurate interpretations and participates in the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) quality initiative program. As a result we are actively involved in understanding and weighing the benefits and risk of our imaging procedures.
Radiation Exposure Risks –
MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging does NOT use radiation to image patients. There is no radiation risk involved in this study.
Ultrasound – Ultrasound does NOT use radiation to image patients. There is no radiation risk involved in this study.
X-ray – A mild dose of radiation is used to perform this study; chest x-ray is comparable to a cross country plane trip.
Mammogram – A mild dose or radiation is used to perform this study. The radiation risk is similar to the annual radioactivity naturally produced by the average person’s body.
CT – A Computed Tomography scan requires more radiation than an x-ray, however it also provides a more detailed picture. The clinical benefit for diagnosis may outweigh the radiation risk; patients and their referring physician should consider the risks and benefits before proceeding with a CT study. Total radiation exposure varies greatly by procedure; a typical Chest CT is comparable to the radiation exposure from radon gas annually emitted in the average home.
PET – Positron Emission Tomography uses small amounts of radioactive materials which are injected and target the area of the body being pictured. The radiation risk varies by procedure.
Nuclear Medicine Scans – Nuclear medicine scans use small amounts of radioactive materials which are either injected, swallowed or inhaled to help target the area of the body being pictured and diagnosed. The radiation risks are similar to that of an x-ray.
Questions for Patients & Physicians
A common concern among healthcare providers in regards to radiation exposure today is the over utilization of imaging studies. Physicians and patients have to balance the risk and benefit of imaging services that use radiation.
Both Raleigh Radiology and the ACR urge patients and physicians to review the following questions, taken from the “Radiology Safety” section of the ACR web site:
Raleigh Radiology’s Efforts to Limit Radiation Exposure
Raleigh Radiology participates in rigorous programs and has taken several steps to ensure our patients receive only the necessary amounts of radiation needed to achieve a quality image to properly diagnose a patient. These steps include:
Where to go for more information
For additional information we suggest the following websites: