Objectives: The aims of this study were to analyze cumulative effective dose (cED) and to assess lifetime attributable risk (LAR) of cancer due to radiation exposure during computed tomography (CT) examinations in adolescent trauma patients.
Methods: Between January 2010 and May 2011, the adolescent patients with trauma were enrolled in this study. Numbers of CT examinations and body regions examined were collated, and cEDs were calculated using dose-length product values and conversion factors. Lifetime attributable risk for cancer incidence and cancer-associated mortality were quantified based on the studies of survivors of the atomic bombs on Japan. Data were stratified according to severity of trauma: minor trauma, injury severity score of less than 16; and major trauma, injury severity score of 16 or greater.
Results: A total of 698 CT scans were obtained on the following regions of 484 adolescent patients: head CT, n = 647; rest of the body, n = 41; and thorax, n = 10. Mean cED per patient was 3.4 mSv, and mean LARs for cancer incidence and mortality were 0.05% and 0.02%, respectively. The majority of patients (98.4%) experienced minor trauma, and their mean cED and LARs for cancer incidence and mortality (3.0 mSv and 0.04% and 0.02%, respectively) were significantly lower than those of patients with major trauma (24.3 mSv and 0.31% and 0.15%, respectively, all P values < 0.001).
Conclusions: The overall radiation-induced cancer risk due to CT examinations performed for the initial assessment of minor trauma was found to be relatively low in adolescent patients. However, adolescent patients with major trauma were exposed to a substantial amount of radiation during multiple CT examinations.