Radiation Safety

Concerned about radiation safety and your imaging exam or procedure? Here we provide you with the University of Chicago Medical Center's Department of Radiology's position on radiation safety and offer a number of resources where you can get more information.

CT or CAT Scans and Radiation:

What are we doing to ensure radiation protection of our patients?

Medical imaging procedures such as CT or CAT scans are highly useful for the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of many medical conditions including cancer, heart disease, and liver and kidney disease. We welcome the increasing attention to both the value of imaging technologies such as CT scans and the importance of ensuring such scans are performed in a setting where there is carefully monitoring to minimize associated radiation exposure.

The UCMC's Department of Radiology is well-recognized for its expertise in all subspecialty areas of radiology and medical imaging, as well as its breadth and depth of medical physicists, researchers, and educators.

Our Radiologists are the physician experts in imaging, most receiving more than 10 years of extensive training (medical school, residency, subspecialty). Indeed, Radiologists receive substantive training in radiation biology and safety that is linked to their board certification.

The UCMC is working together across disciplines to use existing knowledge about radiation protection to ensure that imaging is justified and optimized. When patients do need imaging, they should ask if the imaging center is accredited, the imaging personnel are credentialed, and the protocols used are weight-based and indication-based, to ensure quality.

For children, the pediatric radiologists at the Comer Children’s Hospital use radiation doses as low as reasonably achievable. The CT exams are designed especially for pediatric patients and each child’s exam is individually prescribed by a radiologist, taking into account the child’s size, medical conditions to be evaluated, and prior exams, before the patient enters the CT scanner. The radiologists fully adhere to the recommendations of the Image Gently campaign (www.imagegently.org).

Radiation Exposure Additional FAQs »

Additional Resources:

For more information about radiation safety and what we are doing to educate all stakeholders in medical imaging and to ensure safe, high quality imaging, read the American College of Radiology's White Paper on Radiation Dose in Medicine.

For more information on radiation safety, please contact Dr. Zheng Feng Lu, Associate Professor of Radiology and Clinical Diagnostic Physicist, at zlu@radiology.bsd.uchicago.edu.

If you would like to learn more about medical imaging and expected radiation levels, please visit the Radiological Society of North America’s Radiology Info website.