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Epidemiological study to quantify risks for paediatric computerized tomography and to optimise doses

Awarded: NOK 3.4 mill.


Diagnostic radiation represents an indispensable, sometimes life-saving, tool in modern medicine. However, the growing use of computerized tomography (CT) exams is a topic of concern in radiological protection, especially for children and adolescents. Chi ldren are generally more sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of ionizing radiation than adults. In addition, they have a longer life-span to express any effect and, because of their smaller mass, they may receive higher radiation doses from a CT exam th an an adult. A large-scale study will be set up with the objective of providing guidance towards optimisation of doses from paediatric CT scans. The work is divided as follows: WP1 Coordination and management WP2 Epidemiological methods WP3 Data collect ion WP4 Radiation dose reconstruction WP5 Biological mechanisms WP6 Data analysis and interpretation WP7 Optimisation of practices in paediatric CT WP8 Dissemination of project results Scientists from nine European countries with expertise in epidemi ology, clinical practice, radiology, dosimetry, biology and public health will contribute to the project. A large-scale multinational cohort comprising more than 1 million children aged 0-20 years who have received one or more CT scans will be established . The sub-cohort from Norway is estimated to comprise about 20,000 subjects who have undergone CT scans since 2005. Detailed radiological data will be collected. After dose reconstruction, linkage with the Cancer Registry database will be done. Analyses w ill be performed to estimate the leukaemia risk associated with number and type of scans as well as with radiation dose. Analyses will also be done to estimate risk of all cancer types combined and cancer mortality. The results will increase awareness of the scientific and medical communities about public health aspects related to the use of diagnostic radiation and possible optimisation while lowering the risk of its potential hazards as much as possible.

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