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ISRN Gastroenterology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 790279, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/790279
Review Article

Minimization of Radiation Exposure due to Computed Tomography in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

1Department of Radiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
2Department of Medicine, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
3Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Received 21 December 2011; Accepted 29 January 2012

Academic Editors: F. Izzo, A. Nakajima, A. A. te Velde, and A. Weimann

Copyright © 2012 Patrick D. Mc Laughlin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Patient awareness and concern regarding the potential health risks from ionizing radiation have peaked recently (Coakley et al., 2011) following widespread press and media coverage of the projected cancer risks from the increasing use of computed tomography (CT) (Berrington et al., 2007). The typical young and educated patient with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may in particular be conscious of his/her exposure to ionising radiation as a result of diagnostic imaging. Cumulative effective doses (CEDs) in patients with IBD have been reported as being high and are rising, primarily due to the more widespread and repeated use of CT (Desmond et al., 2008). Radiologists, technologists, and referring physicians have a responsibility to firstly counsel their patients accurately regarding the actual risks of ionizing radiation exposure; secondly to limit the use of those imaging modalities which involve ionising radiation to clinical situations where they are likely to change management; thirdly to ensure that a diagnostic quality imaging examination is acquired with lowest possible radiation exposure. In this paper, we synopsize available evidence related to radiation exposure and risk and we report advances in low-dose CT technology and examine the role for alternative imaging modalities such as ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging which avoid radiation exposure.