Adverse effects from radiological examinations are also detailed in books. Other non-cancer effects that should be remembered include patient skin damage due to IVR procedures (see the question "Can skin damage from radiation be prevented?") and radiation heart disease. For example, radiation can cause fine circulatory damage to the heart muscle and increase atherosclerosis in large blood vessels. Recent research has shown that the minimum dose for occurrence of damage is about 500 milli grays and that onset can occur about 20 years after exposure (ICRP publ. 120, Radiological Protection in Cardiology). High doses were required when CT was initially used for scanning coronary arteries. Furthermore, it was just about 20 years ago that CT scanning of coronary arteries began being used for conditions such as heart disease in children. Consequently, patients scanned during that period may have myocardial damage and, unless some other cause can be identified, radiological examinations cannot be ruled out as the cause. Currently, at most facilities the dose absorbed by the heart during coronary artery scans is about 50 milli grays, which means there is no worry of radiation effects from a single scan, but if frequent scans are required, then the personal physician should consider minimizing the number of scans, for example.
Patient Exposure During Radiological Procedures