How Do You Decide on the Right Radiation During a CT Scan?


Quick Answer

The right radiation dose administered during a computed tomography scan depends on the type of CT procedure being conducted, the size of the body part under examination, and the type of CT equipment used. The effective dose ranges between one and 10 millisieverts, states the U.S Food and Drug Administration.

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Full Answer

The diagnostic procedure that a patient undergoes determines the amount of radiation that he receives during a computed tomography scan. The right amount of radiation also depends on the radiation sensitivities of different body organs. The effective radiation dose for a head CT scan, for example, is 2 millisieverts, while the effective dose for an abdomen CT scan is 8 millisieverts, according to the U.S Food and Drug Administration. However, these doses can vary significantly.

The amount of radiation administered during a CT scan is an estimated value. The actual dose received by the patient could be two or three times smaller or larger than the estimated dose. Therefore, physicians cannot accurately compute the amount of radiation that a patient undergoing a particular CT scan receives. Medical facilities performing CT scans may adjust radiation levels to administer doses lower than the ones recommended, states the U.S Food and Drug Administration.

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