Features June 2010 Issue

Imaging Tests Can Lead to Harmful Radiation Exposure

Tests designed to diagnose heart problems may increase your cancer risk.

Nuclear stress tests, CT scans, and some other imaging tests are widely used in diagnosing heart patients, but the radiation exposure from these tests can build up to harmful levels over time. "The majority of patients believe that these tests are harmless; however, they are not," warns Leslie Cho, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Cleveland Clinic’s Heart Advisor. Several tests diagnose possible heart disease. The choice of which (and how many) tests to perform depends on several things, including a patient’s risk factors, history of heart problems, current symptoms, and the doctor’s interpretation of these factors.

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