Radiologists are doing little to reduce the patient's exposure to very high levels of radiation that are produced by CT (computed tomography) and CCTA scans for heart and artery health.
One CCTA scan is equivalent to 600 standard chest x-rays, and is 20 times more than the level of background radiation we absorb in one year.
Despite this, radiologists rarely follow the guidelines for reducing a patient's exposure. They could reduce the radiation to a level that is equivalent to around just 30 x-rays and still produce a workable scan.
Researchers noted the radiologists' indifference to patient safety when they monitored 1,965 CCTA scans carried out in German hospitals over a year.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009; 301: 500-7).