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HeartScan

How much radiation will I get with a Heart Scan?

HeartScan Radiation DoseEveryone is concerned about radiation exposure, but recent attention to higher exposure doses during Coronary CTA has both physicians and patients questioning the benefit verses the risk of performing this heart evaluation. As a patient, it might be difficult to understand the amount of radiation a patient receives during any radiology procedure. Radiation dose to individuals is measured in mSVs (milliSierverts).

Did you know that every individual receives some background radiation everyday? As a rule, based on the environment you live and work in, this radiation is generally about 3 mSvs a year. You increase your exposure every time you go up in an airplane or have an x-ray. According to the American College of Radiology, a round trip flight coast to coast on a commercial airline would have an estimated dose of .03 mSv, equivalent to 3 days of natural background radiation. Although everyone should avoid any unnecessary radiation, whenever illness or injury requires any type of radiology procedure, the benefit of the diagnosis obtained from the x-ray should exceed the risk of the additional radiation.

Due to the recent innovative technologies and Fairfax Radiology's installation of the new GE Discovery CT750 HD, our average radiation does for a Heart CT is 1/6 of the average dose nationwide. At 2 mSvs, we vastly surpass the radiation protection expectations. READ OUR CASE STUDY.

The website from the American College of Radiology (ACR) provides a radiation exposure comparison from one chest x-ray (0.1 mSv) as equivalent to the amount of radiation exposure one experiences from our natural surroundings in 10 days.

For this procedure: Estimation of your effective radiation dose is: Comparable to natural background radiation for:
Chest X-ray 0.1 mSv 10 Days
Coronary CTA on FRC's CT750 HD Scanner 2 mSv 8 Months
Coronary CTA Nationwide Average 10-12 mSv Over 3 Years
Nuclear Medicine Stress Test *
     Sestamibi
     Thallium
9 mSv
41 mSv
3 Years
Over 10 years
* Adapted from: Thomas C. Gerber, MD, PhD, et al. Ionizing Radiation in Cardiac Imaging. A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association Committee on Cardiac Imaging of the Council on Clinical Cardiology and Committee on Cardiovascular Imaging and Intervention of the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention Circulation. 2009;119:1056-1065. 2009 American Heart Association, Inc.

Click here for a link to ACR (American College of Radiology) RadiologyInfo.org to view safety information related to Radiation Exposure in X-ray Examinations.

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