Keywords: radiation, coronary artery disease, stress testing, cardiac testing (PubMed Search)
Posted: 4/29/2012 by Amal Mattu, MD
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Here's some numbers to consider regarding typical radiation exposre associated with cardiac imaging tests relative to naturally occurring background radiation exposure:
Test type Relative exposure
Naturally occurring annual background radiation
exposure for a person living in the US (~ 3 mSv) 1
Coronary artery calcium score 0.5
Cardiac CT angiography 1-4
Nuclear stress test (single-photon emission CT) 3-4
Exercise treadmiil testing (with no imaging) 0
Cardiac MRI/echocardiogram 0
[above estimates are typical, but may vary between individuals and among different centers]
Blankstein R. Introduction to noninvasive cardiac imaging. Circulation 2012;125:e267-3271.
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