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IRIA calls Guleria’s CT scan statements outdated

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Modern CT scanners use ultra-low-dose CT which has radiation comparable to only 5-10 X-rays, said IRIA President

Terming AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria’s statements on the use of CT scans in the evaluation of COVID “misleading,” the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA) yesterday said that his warning that one CT scan is equal to 300-400 X-rays and CT scans cause cancer is “outdated and wrong.”

In a statement, Prof C Amarnath, President, IRIA, said, “Dr Guleria, in his statement, had claimed that one CT chest (scan) is equal to 300-400 X-rays. This is a very retrograde situation and was the situation 30-40 years ago. The modern CT scanners use ultra-low-dose CT which has radiation comparable to only 5-10 X-rays. Radiologists all over the world follow the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) and give the minimal radiation possible during the scan.”

With the advent of low-dose CT techniques and advancement in the software, the dose is reduced to one-third to one-fourth and with ultra-low-dose CT scan, it can be reduced to one-tenth, he added.

Amarnath also contended that the medical investigations and treatment are also analysed based on the ‘risk vs benefit ratio’ and is very clear in this case, that the benefits far outweigh the risk which is almost non-existent.

“Moreover, the statement that CT chest (scan) can cause lung cancer is alarming. The radiation dose from a single CT chest is almost equivalent to the background radiation received by any person over a year,” he contended.

“At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is creating havoc and we are trying to triage the patients and make use of the limited medical supplies to the best, such type of unscientific and irresponsible statements from such senior health authorities create confusion among the public and hampers the COVID-19 treatment. During this raging pandemic, radiologists and radiographers are putting their life at risk and are contributing significantly to this battle. IRIA is promoting the vaccination drive of the nation and also all precautions suggested by the Government of India. I also salute all the radiation workers who are working with the risk of COVID-19 and radiation,” he said.

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