To clarify whether medical radiation exposure, especially from head computed tomography (CT), increases the risk of brain tumours in young patients in Japan, which ranks the second highest in the world in the number of paediatric CT examinations following the US. From 2011 to 2015, we performed a case-control study of 120 brain tumour patients and 360 appendicitis patients as controls. Reasons, the number of brain and head CT scans date were available from interviews. A cumulative radiation dose to the brain was calculated as a sum of doses received from head CT scans and from conventional X-rays and estimated using a reference table derived from a literature review of published studies. We performed conditional logistic regression to assess the risk of brain tumours from brain and head CT, and from conventional head X-ray procedures. The case group received on average 1.8 CTs to the brain area and 2.2 CTs to the whole head, with a mean estimated brain dose of 32 ±13 mGy. The odds ratio for developing a brain tumour from having a brain CT was 0.93 (95% confidence interval: 0.38-1.82). This was hardly altered when adjusting for parental educational history and for other diseases (history of neurological disease and attention-deficit disorder/attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Neither whole head CT nor cumulative brain dose to the brain increased the risk of glioma or of all brain tumours. Although this study conducted in Japan, where ranks second in the number of CT scans conducted in the world, did not show an increased risk of brain tumours related to CT scans, it should be taken with caution due to a case-control study with limited sample size.
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