Children, CT, and Radiation-Induced Malignancy

Does sex play a role in determining cancer risk?

Hannah Dzimitrowicz, BS, and Cordelia W. Carter, MD

Computed tomography (CT) is a valuable imaging modality that provides diagnostic resolution often not achievable with other techniques. As a result of this clinical utility, the use of CT scans in the United States has been steadily rising; roughly 85 million CT scans were performed in this country in 2011, more than 4 million of which were performed on children. In fact, one recent study examining the use of CT scans in U.S. pediatric patients across a large network of health maintenance organizations found a nearly 3-fold increase in the use of CT from 1996 to 2010.

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