Introduction. Computed tomography (CT) has many diagnostic advantages, spurring growth in the number of CT examinations. As the use of CT increases, the potential for radiation-induced adverse effects has become an issue. The primary objective of this study was to assess the liberal use of CT induced radiation exposure in patients with multiple blunt traumas. The secondary objective was to investigate the factors affecting the estimated effective dose resulting from CTs unrelated to final diagnosis.
Methods. Using data from our hospital information system, we selected patients assigned a trauma code, according to the Korean Standard Classification of Diseases, and with three or more body lesions assessed by CT at the same time in the emergency department. Each CT conducted was categorized into ‘CT related to the final diagnosis’ or ‘CT unrelated to final diagnosis’. The characteristics and estimated effective dose of CTs unrelated to the final diagnosis were analyzed. The factors affecting the estimated effective dose of CTs unrelated to final diagnosis were investigated.
Results. More than half of all CT examinations were not associated with the final diagnosis. The additional estimated effective dose due to CTs being unrelated to the final diagnosis in each patient was a sufficient amount of radiation exposure to increase the possibility of fatal cancer.
Conclusion. A considerable number of CT scans were unrelated to the patient’s final diagnosis, which exposes the patient to additional radiation exposure.
Key words: radiation, trauma, computed tomography