WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Breast shields are the best
way to protect the breasts of women from radiation exposure while
they have a chest CT examination, according to a new study.
The researchers compared a breast shield with a new technique
called posteriorly centered partial CT, in which the CT scanner
turns on and off as it scans the patient.
For each approach, the team at Penn State Hershey Medical Center
measured the radiation dose to the front and back of an object
called a breast phantom, which mimics the size of the breast area
of a woman.
"We found that posteriorly centered partial CT does decrease skin entrance radiation dose to the breast by 16 percent, but increases overall radiation dose to the chest by 8 percent," lead author Dr. Rafel Tappouni said in an American Roentgen Ray Society news release.
"The bismuth breast shields, on the other hand, reduced skin entrance dose to the breast by 38 percent without an increase in overall radiation dose," he added.
The study was to be presented Wednesday at the society's annual
meeting in Chicago. Research presented at meetings is considered
preliminary because it has not been subject to the scrutiny
required for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about
radiation risks from CT.