Advertisement

Can medical imaging procedures cause radiation poisoning?

No, it would be very unusual to have radiation poisoning from medical imaging. The amount of radiation absorbed by the body is measured in units called grays (Gy). Mild symptoms of radiation poisoning can occur at doses as low as 0.3 Gy. The life-threatening complications require higher doses (from at least 1 to 6 Gy, depending duration of exposure). While many medical imaging procedures use ionizing radiation, the absorbed dose is far below the levels that cause radiation poisoning. Specifically, the exposure from imaging modalities such as x-rays is less than 0.1 Gy. Procedures with the highest levels of exposure include computed tomography scans, certain cardiology procedures, and interventional procedures that use fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that captures motion and that requires a longer duration of radiation exposure.

Continue Learning about Diagnostic Imaging

Ask Oz and Roizen: Coronary Calcium Scanning, and MRIs' Effect on Tattoos
Ask Oz and Roizen: Coronary Calcium Scanning, and MRIs' Effect on Tattoos
Q: My 45-year-old brother is a fireman. When he started getting short of breath, his GP sent him to a cardiologist. Everyone figured it was asthma, bu...
Read More
Is Your CT Scan or X-ray Necessary?
Is Your CT Scan or X-ray Necessary?
Every day 19,500 computed tomography (CT) scans are performed in the United States. From 2005 to 2007, more than 70 percent of American adults were za...
Read More
What are diagnostic radiologists?
RealAgeRealAge
Diagnostic radiologists are doctors who specialize in diagnostic radiology, a branch of medicine tha...
More Answers
What are some rare conditions you see in radiology?
John Randolph Medical Center - HCA VirginiaJohn Randolph Medical Center - HCA Virginia
Certain types of cancer and tumors are some of the rarer conditions seen by radiologists.
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.