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Vendors of Imaging Equipment Urged to Allow Tracked Exposure

Increasing exposure to diagnostic radiation may harm individual and future generations

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Due to the increasing exposure to diagnostic radiation, vendors of imaging equipment should allow tracking of radiation exposure, according to an opinion article in the February Journal of the American College of Radiology. A related opinion in the same issue notes that diagnostic radiation exposure has the potential to harm not only the individual but also future generations through processes such as epigenetics.

Ronald D. Neumann, M.D., and David A. Bluemke, M.D., from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., note that exposure to diagnostic ionizing radiation has been increasing in the United States, and yet the cancer risk from such exposure is largely unknown. To better track such exposure, all vendors who sell imaging equipment to Radiology and Imaging Sciences at their institution will be required to allow the recording of radiation dose exposure into the electronic medical record.

Shella Farooki, M.D., from the Columbus Radiology Corporation in Ohio notes that diagnostic radiation exposure has the potential to harm not only the individual but also future generations. One increasingly studied and appreciated mechanism of generating heritable defects is through epigenetics, where gene expression is affected by factors other than changes in DNA sequence, such as DNA methylation.

"Epigenetics may ultimately turn out to have a greater role in health and disease and treatment than genetics itself," Farooki writes. "Given this knowledge, one wonders if future trends in diseases will be linked to today's utilization of computed tomography."

Full Text - Neumann (subscription or payment may be required)
Full Text - Farooki (subscription or payment may be required)

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