Radiology/CT Scan


I recently had a lumbar CT scan and I am pretty freaked out about it.  I called and they said the dose was 214.0 mgy.  All I can find is msv information.  I REALLY hope I didn't have 214.0 msv.  Can you tell me anything?  I am worried about getting cancer from this scan.  Thank you.

Mgy and msv are interchangeable.   Is it possible they told you an incorrect number?  214 mgy does not seem like the correct dose for one lumbar CT scan.  According to the American college of radiology, unless you are having multiple scans of different areas it is very unlikely for the dose to be above 50 msv.  Dose also depends on the size of the patient.  CT scans do give a higher dose than, say a regular X-ray, however I don't think you need to worry about getting cancer from one CT scan. There are special guidelines in place for patient safety.  The dose is never higher than necessary to achieve quality images.  
We are exposed to radiation on a daily basis from the sun, cell phones, airplane travel etc.  If you still feel nervous, talk to the physicist on staff at the facility where your test was and he/she will be able to reassure you that everything is done to assure that your exposure is as low as possible.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I can answer questions about most radiologic examinations and procedures (like X-rays, CTA scans, angiograms etc) . I can help guide you through what to expect during your procedure, safety concerns and postoperative care questions. I can not diagnose you online. Please do not include images as I can not give my opinion on them.


I have been a Physician Assistant (PA) since 2006 practicing in a hospital. We perform exams such as angiograms, angioplasty, atherectomy, biopsies, tumor ablations, UFE and catheter insertions.

Bachelors Degree in Radiologic Science, licensed Radiologic Technologist, NCCPA Certified Physician Assistant

©2016 All rights reserved.