Radiation exposure in gastroenterology: Improving patient and staff protection
Medical imaging involving the use of ionizing radiation has brought enormous benefits to society and patients. In the past several decades, exposure to medical radiation has increased markedly, driven primarily by the use of computed tomography. Ionizing radiation has been linked to carcinogenesis. Whether low-dose medical radiation exposure will result in the development of malignancy is uncertain. This paper reviews the current evidence for such risk, and aims to inform the gastroenterologist of dosages of radiation associated with commonly ordered procedures and diagnostic tests in clinical practice. The use of medical radiation must always be justified and must enable patients to be exposed at the lowest reasonable dose. Recommendations provided herein for minimizing radiation exposure are based on currently available evidence and Working Party expert consensus.