Radiation protection of children during PET/CT scanning

» Do children undergoing a PET/CT scan have higher radiation risks?


Children are more sensitive to radiation than adults. All radiation carries a theoretical risk of inducing cancer. The effective dose to the patient from a typical PET/CT examination may be in the range of 5-18 mSv. If the procedure is justified and is expected to give significant benefit to the patient, the benefit/risk ratio is high. Thus it is important to justify each examination. Once the procedure is justified, it is necessary to perform the procedure with due optimization so as to reduce the radiation dose to the patient without compromising diagnostic information.

» Can a child accompany a patient to the PET/CT centre?

It is advisable not to bring children along to the PET/CT centre. 
Following injection of radioactive material and before the scan starts, it is important that the patient is relaxed, so that the staff can get the best scan possible. The radiation exposure to accompanying child from the patient, although small, is better avoided as far as possible.