Radiography and CT: the need and danger
Mar 27, 2018
A clear, clear picture of the condition of the internal organs or tissues of the patient is the dream of every physician.It is she who helps to discard the subjectivity of the patient's sensations and makes it possible to make a diagnosis not on assumptions, but on seeing the place of localization of a real pathological process, its vastness and possible complications.That is why the development of diagnostic imaging techniques was and is a priority in medicine.Table of contents: X-ray: harm or benefit?X-ray method of research What can be harmful to X-rays for a patient X-ray risk for children X-ray diagnostic methods and pregnancy Comparative doses and risk assessment of X-ray diagnostic methods Features of computed tomography What is the harm of computed tomography? Recommended to read:
X-ray: harm or benefit?
One of the first serious breakthroughs in this field was the practice of radiographic research, and today it still occupies one of the key places in medical diagnostics.Despite the solid age of the method and the emergence of new technologies, it helps to save the lives of patients.But at the same time the roentgen carries a danger to health.Paradox?Remember the famous saying of Paracelsus: "Everything is poison, and nothing is devoid of virulence;Only one dose makes the poison invisible "?It also applies to x-rays.Of course, modern X-ray technology has become much safer, more accurately, but at its heart remains the same exposure, the harm of which is written not just one medical treatise and there are many legends and myths.Let's try to separate the truth from lies and understand the question - what harm is x-ray, how much is it worth to be afraid of X-ray diagnostic procedures and computed tomography.
X-ray method of investigation
In relation to new methods, X-ray remains the most inexpensive, informative, time-consuming and not requiring large staff of medical personnel.These circumstances and is due to its prevalence at the present time.
The method itself consists in the passage of X-rays through the tissues of the body with the following registration:
- on the fixing film( radiography);
- on a black and white or color monitor( fluoroscopy);
There are many methods of X-ray research.Each of them requires a certain time, magnitude of radiation, multiplicity.It is necessary to understand that with each irradiation the patient receives a certain dose, which not only causes certain processes in the tissues of organs and systems, but can also accumulate.The doctor's task is to minimize the existing damage to the radiation load.
If a dynamic observation of the study data is required( for example, after passage through the esophagus, the intestine of the barium mixture), then fluoroscopy is used.Despite the patient's long exposure to radiation, the dose is much lower than with radiography, which makes an almost instantaneous, but significantly exceeding the power picture.
Sometimes the fluoroscopic and radiographic method is simultaneously used, which reduces the patient's radiation load, but it also gives more information
What can be harmful to the patient's x-ray
The danger of X-rays for human health is sometimes greatly exaggerated, but also denied - in the rootwrong.
Harm is an ionizing radiation that acts on a person's body with a certain intensity and time interval.
Radiation passing through body tissues:
- ionizes tissue molecules;
- causes a temporary change in blood composition;
- changes the structure of proteins;
- causes premature cell aging;
- disrupts the normal process of maturation and cell life;
- promotes the development of cataracts;
- causes the degeneration of body tissues into pathological.
Various diseases can result from these changes, among which malignant formations are possible.Therefore, it is very important to observe all necessary precautions when performing radiation diagnostics.
Important : Medical equipment uses low-energy X-rays, used in small time intervals, therefore it is considered to be practically harmless.The risk of a malignant tumor process increases on average by no more than 0.001% after a routine study.Electromagnetic waves radiated by the X-ray apparatus do not accumulate in the body.
Note: separately it should be noted that different tissues of the body have different sensitivity to radiation.
X-ray danger for children
The developing children's organism, due to its imperfection, is more prone to the negative influence of ionizing radiation than an adult.The danger of X-rays for children is the possibility of malignant degeneration of cells entering the irradiation zone.
The smaller the age of a child, the higher the risk and the more frequent complications can occur.
In addition, children suffer from the genetic component of protein molecules, which can lead to the provocation of existing hereditary diseases.
Important: answer to the question - whether the X-ray to the child is unequivocal: harmful.Therefore, each diagnostic procedure using radiation radiation should have clear indications.
X-ray diagnostic methods and pregnancy
X-ray during pregnancy should be due to even more stringent criteria, since exposure to the rays of an intra-uterine child is especially dangerous for him.If the doctor decides that this type of examination is indispensable, then he must take all precautions to minimize the harm of the procedure.
To achieve this it is possible:
- using the most gentle radiation method;
- study carried out with a decrease in the temporary burden on the patient;
- use all necessary protective materials that can contain the radiation level of the device;
- apply modern X-ray equipment and materials.
Most often during pregnancy, a tooth x-ray of several teeth is used and a picture of the jaw apparatus is applied.It is caused by the fact that the dental tissues of the future mother are exposed to caries in a more aggressive form.
But in this case X-ray should be done only with :
- solving the issue of tooth extraction;
- purulent periodontitis;
- for checking the quality of root canal filling with filling material.
Please note: when assigning an X-ray examination, the patient must inform the doctor about the presence of an existing pregnancy.The doctor's task is to avoid using this diagnostic method as much as possible or to reduce its harm.
Comparative doses and assessment of the risk of X-ray diagnostic methods
When talking about radiation doses, it should be noted that there are three categories of data to be accounted for:
- absorbed dose - the energy received by a unit of human body weight;
- equivalent dose - multiplied by the coefficient of absorbed dose, characterizing different degrees of damaging radiation;
- effective equivalent dose - calculated from the equivalent dose product with a sensitivity factor of different tissues.
Important: will only be interested in the EED, the equivalent effective dose, measured in mSv per unit time( millisievert) to estimate the damage to ionizing radiation.
There are tables with a lot of data, including comparative figures, characterizing the average dose of the received irradiation.On their basis, it is possible to calculate the expected amount of irradiation for the forthcoming X-ray examination.
We present one of them, the data are presented in μSv( microsievert, or 10-3 mSv):
But it should be noted immediately that all these data are approximate and, according to the current radiation safety standards, the limits for the doses received by patients during the survey are not established.It is caused by the fact that the minimum dose that can cause the onset of oncological process in humans is 50 mSv / year, which is almost impossible to obtain with the X-ray methods of the study.
A significant health hazard can only be borne by operating personnel.The permissible dose in this case is up to 1000 mSv over the entire period of operation.
You can get more information about X-ray radiation, X-ray wavelength and X-ray harm by viewing this video review:
Features of computed tomography
Computed tomography differs from conventional X-ray examination in that it does not just a snapshot of the body area, but its"Layerwise sections".
This allows :
- to detect the presence of pathological foci;
- more accurately determine the depth and size of the location;
- to reduce the effect on the image quality of the effect of overlapping other tissues, which is achieved by a directed narrow beam of the moving scanner-emitter;
- to reduce the time of the procedure for computed tomography, significantly reducing the radiation load on the tissue;
- Do not expose your body to other areas of the body.
What is the harm of computed tomography?
Also, as with the usual X-ray examination, irradiation of the tissues of the human body remains.Hence, there is a risk of development of oncological processes.
Note: the degree of risk of CT increases from the multiplicity of the images obtained.
The answer to the question - is it more harmful for health tomography than conventional X-ray, depends on many factors, among which the main one is the number of slices.
Summing up what has been said, it is worthwhile to say that one should not underestimate even the minimal harm caused to a person by radiation.
Important: , any doctor should refer a patient to a survey only if there is a strong indication.And if it is possible to replace X-ray with another, more harmless method - ultrasound, MRI, then they should be given preference.It is necessary to seek the development of these methods, reduce their costs, increase their use in practice, and also extend to remote medical centers.
In addition to the harm of X-rays and tomography, there are many speculations about the dangers of fluorography.Want to know how often it is possible to undergo a fluorography?Answer in the video review:
Alexander Lotin, radiologist,