Desert Radiology Emphasizes Accuracy to Avoid Over Imaging

By: Corrie Riccadonna, Director, Marketing & Provider Relations

Many Southern Nevadans rely on imaging services to diagnose and monitor important health issues. While diagnostic imaging plays a crucial role in modern health care, Desert Radiology strives to educate patients about the risks of over imaging - and our team does everything possible to minimize these risks.

Americans undergo more than 70 million CT scans every year, according to Harvard Medical School. This reflects how much the medical industry relies on CT scans to identify numerous health conditions, including heart disease, internal bleeding and bone and joint issues. As part of a continued effort to keep our patients informed, including and especially regarding risks, we advise that CT scans do expose patients to the ionizing radiation of X-rays.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) recommends for patients to limit their lifetime radiation exposure through diagnostic imaging to 100 millisieverts (mSv). Individuals would reach this amount through roughly 10,000 chest X-rays, or 25 chest CTs.

Some scans also involve contrast dyes. This chemical compound, which patients swallow or receive as an injection, enhances the quality of medical images and helps medical professionals to better analyze these images. 

Most patients who receive a contrast dye experience no adverse effects.  We recommend that patients always inform their physician of their medical history so that the need for dye may be assessed, especially for those patients with a history of diabetes, heart and blood diseases as well as chronic kidney disease. 

The safety of our patients remains Desert Radiology’s very top priority. Our team of leading physicians and medical staff implement the most cutting-edge measures and safety protocols to minimize all risks as much as possible.

Thanks to ongoing advancements in diagnostic technology, our team can achieve highly accurate images while also reducing radiant exposure. For example, our Canon Aquilion Prime SP CT scanner — hailed for its fast patient throughput and robust cardiac scanning — administers lower radiation doses to patients while also providing the highest quality of diagnostic imaging.

Desert Radiology also participates in programs that keep our team at the forefront of all new technology and medical practices specifically designed to reduce patient radiation, such as ACR’s Image Wisely. 

Additionally, our physicians regularly share and compare our CT scanners’ radiation dose output with regional and national benchmarks, on the ACR Dose Index Registry.

The medical industry continues to constantly progress with new diagnostic imaging technology and measures. With every advancement, Desert Radiology remains steadfastly committed to providing the most innovative services that put our patient’s safety and well-being first.

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