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Misdiagnosed appendicitis. Had many CT Scans. Can sonogram and MRI be requested instead of CT Scan?

May 2014
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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 6506 Questions
Hello and thank you. How many are too many CT scans? I have had over 20 CT scans plus regular x-rays over the past 10 years, most of them within a two year period. Can I request sonograms and MRIs instead of CT scans because of radiation? XXXXXXX
Posted Sun, 13 Oct 2013 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 42 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You can request sonograms and MRI scans.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in to us.

Sorry to know about your health problem about misdiagnosed appendicitis.

As a radiologist, I would like to appreciate your concern regarding numerous CT scans and the radiation involved.

Each CT scan involves a lot of radiation which is measured in miligray or milisievert. Nowadays, the radiation dose is known while doing a CT scan. As you have mentioned abdominal problems, I guess most of your CT scans have been of the abdomen and they involve a high radiation exposurer. Every CT scan must be justified and an alternate investigation like Ultrasound or MRI may have to be considered before proceeding with repeat CT scans.

As one cannot precisely say how many CT scans are okay, I strongly suggest you to limit your CT scans as 20 plus is a huge number and other alternatives need to be discussed with your doctor and radiologist.

You are justified in requesting sonograms or MRI scans as a patient.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back in case of doubts.

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