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Invited Commentary
January 15, 2020

Low-Dose Whole-Body Computed Tomography and Radiation Exposure in Patients With Trauma—Trust, but Verify

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
JAMA Surg. Published online January 15, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.5469

In an attempt to minimize missed injury rates, potentially decrease mortality, and enhance rapid patient disposition, standard-dose whole-body computed tomographic (WBCT) imaging has become ubiquitous at trauma centers for the hemodynamically stable patient admitted with trauma.1,2 The radiation dose from WBCT ranges from 10 to 20 mGy, which results in an approximately 0.08% estimated lifetime cancer mortality for 45-year-old persons.3 Risk of mortality due to missed injury is therefore higher than the risk of future radiation-induced cancer.

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