Children are receiving significantly fewer computed tomography scans now compared to a decade ago, according to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics. Instead, alternate types of imaging that do not use medical radiation, such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, are being used more frequently in children’s imaging.
"This study reinforces the pediatric community's commitment to think about both immediate and long-term risks and benefits of our treatment," said lead author Michelle Parker, M.D., in a news release. "Minimizing potential for harm to our patients as we work to heal them should always remain a priority."
According to the news release, the study, “Computed Tomography and Shifts to Alternate Imaging Modalities in Hospitalized Children,” is the first of its kinds to look at CT use across multiple hospitals and conditions.
The study used the records of more than 150,000 children admitted to 33 children’s hospitals from 2004 to 2012. The study calculated the rate of CT scans, ultrasounds and MRIs the children underwent for 10 different types of problems including abdominal pain, severe head trauma and seizure.