Cancer risks increase with complex heart tests

June 24, 2014, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital

Complex heart imaging can increase cancer risks for children throughout their lifetime, according to a new study co-authored by Le Bonheur Cardiologist Jason Johnson, MD, MHS. The study, which appears in the June 9, 2014 issue of the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, is the first in which researchers quantified cumulative radiation doses in pediatric heart patients and predicted lifetime cancer risks based on the types of exposures.

In the study, Johnson and fellow researchers found that radiation from standard X-rays don't significantly raise cancer risks for young children, in general, but children undergoing more complex procedures with higher radiation – like cardiac catherizations and computed tomography (CT) scans have higher risks.

"Cancer risk overall is relatively low, but we hope that this awareness will encourage providers to limit in children, when alternative procedures can offer the same benefit with less radiation," Johnson said.

Researchers reviewed medical records to find the most common imaging procedures, calculated how much radiation organs absorb during each procedure, then used a National Academy of Sciences report to analyze lifetime cancer risks based on the amounts of each procedure's exposure. Lifetime increases ranged from 0.002 percent for chest X-rays to 0.4 percent for complex CT scans and cardiac catheterizations.

Johnson is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and specializes in and advanced cardiovascular imaging. He helped complete the research at Duke University Medical Center, where he completed his pediatric cardiology and advance imaging fellowships.

Explore further: Lifetime cancer risk from heart imaging tests is low for most children

More information: circ.ahajournals.org/content/e … LATIONAHA.113.005425

Related Stories

Lifetime cancer risk from heart imaging tests is low for most children

June 9, 2014
Radiation from standard X-rays is relatively low and doesn't significantly raise lifetime cancer risks for most young children, according to research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Study finds advanced CT scanners reduce patient radiation exposure

June 21, 2014
Computed tomography scans are an accepted standard of care for diagnosing heart and lung conditions. But clinicians worry that the growing use of CT scans could be placing patients at a higher lifetime risk of cancer from ...

Cardiologists urged to reduce inappropriate radiation exposure

January 8, 2014
Cardiologists are being urged to reduce patient radiation exposure in a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) position paper which outlines doses and risks of common cardiology examinations for the first time. The paper is ...

Primary health risks outweigh long-term radiation concerns

March 15, 2013
(HealthDay)—Immediate health risks supersede lifetime radiation-induced cancer risk in patients undergoing computed tomography (CT) surveillance for testicular cancer, according to a study published in the March issue of ...

First report of increased safety using simultaneous techniques for cardiac testing published

October 19, 2011
Canadian Journal of Cardiology has published a paper on the safety of cardiac imaging methods. This study is important for patients worried about radiation exposure during X-ray based studies of the heart. X-ray based methods ...

Immediate health risk must be weighed against radiation-induced cancer risk

December 18, 2012
The lifetime risks of cancer from medical radiation may be overemphasized relative to more immediate health risks, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

Recommended for you

Biomechanical mapping method aids development of therapies for damaged heart tissue

January 23, 2018
Researchers have developed a new way to capture the detailed biomechanical properties of heart tissue. The high-resolution optical technique fills an important technology gap necessary to develop and test therapies that might ...

Researchers borrow from AIDS playbook to tackle rheumatic heart disease

January 22, 2018
Billions of US taxpayer dollars have been invested in Africa over the past 15 years to improve care for millions suffering from the HIV/AIDS epidemic; yet health systems on the continent continue to struggle. What if the ...

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.