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      Survival adjusted cancer risks attributable to radiation exposure from cardiac catheterisations in children


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          To estimate the risk of developing cancer in relation to the typical radiation doses received from a range of X-ray guided cardiac catheterisations in children, taking variable survival into account.


          Radiation doses were estimated for 2749 procedures undertaken at five UK hospitals using Monte Carlo simulations. The lifetime attributable risk (LAR) of cancer incidence was estimated using models developed by the Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation committee, based on both normal life expectancy, and as a function of attained age, from 20 to 80 years, to take reduced life expectancy into account.


          The radiation-related risks from these procedures are dominated by lung and breast cancer (for females). Assuming normal life expectancy, central LAR estimates for cancer incidence, based on median doses, ranged from <1 in 2000 for atrial septal defect occlusions to as high as 1 in 150 for valve replacements. For a reduced life expectancy of 50 years, estimated risks are lower by a factor of around 7. For conditions with especially poor survival (age 20 years), such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, estimated cancer risks attributable to radiation were <1 in 20 000.


          Based on recent UK radiation dose levels, the risk of cancer following cardiac catheterisations is relatively low and strongly modified by survival and the type of procedure. The risk of breast cancer, especially following pulmonary artery angioplasty and valve replacements, is the greatest concern.

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          Radiation exposure from CT scans in childhood and subsequent risk of leukaemia and brain tumours: a retrospective cohort study

          Summary Background Although CT scans are very useful clinically, potential cancer risks exist from associated ionising radiation, in particular for children who are more radiosensitive than adults. We aimed to assess the excess risk of leukaemia and brain tumours after CT scans in a cohort of children and young adults. Methods In our retrospective cohort study, we included patients without previous cancer diagnoses who were first examined with CT in National Health Service (NHS) centres in England, Wales, or Scotland (Great Britain) between 1985 and 2002, when they were younger than 22 years of age. We obtained data for cancer incidence, mortality, and loss to follow-up from the NHS Central Registry from Jan 1, 1985, to Dec 31, 2008. We estimated absorbed brain and red bone marrow doses per CT scan in mGy and assessed excess incidence of leukaemia and brain tumours cancer with Poisson relative risk models. To avoid inclusion of CT scans related to cancer diagnosis, follow-up for leukaemia began 2 years after the first CT and for brain tumours 5 years after the first CT. Findings During follow-up, 74 of 178 604 patients were diagnosed with leukaemia and 135 of 176 587 patients were diagnosed with brain tumours. We noted a positive association between radiation dose from CT scans and leukaemia (excess relative risk [ERR] per mGy 0·036, 95% CI 0·005–0·120; p=0·0097) and brain tumours (0·023, 0·010–0·049; p<0·0001). Compared with patients who received a dose of less than 5 mGy, the relative risk of leukaemia for patients who received a cumulative dose of at least 30 mGy (mean dose 51·13 mGy) was 3·18 (95% CI 1·46–6·94) and the relative risk of brain cancer for patients who received a cumulative dose of 50–74 mGy (mean dose 60·42 mGy) was 2·82 (1·33–6·03). Interpretation Use of CT scans in children to deliver cumulative doses of about 50 mGy might almost triple the risk of leukaemia and doses of about 60 mGy might triple the risk of brain cancer. Because these cancers are relatively rare, the cumulative absolute risks are small: in the 10 years after the first scan for patients younger than 10 years, one excess case of leukaemia and one excess case of brain tumour per 10 000 head CT scans is estimated to occur. Nevertheless, although clinical benefits should outweigh the small absolute risks, radiation doses from CT scans ought to be kept as low as possible and alternative procedures, which do not involve ionising radiation, should be considered if appropriate. Funding US National Cancer Institute and UK Department of Health.
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            Cancer risk in 680 000 people exposed to computed tomography scans in childhood or adolescence: data linkage study of 11 million Australians

            Objective To assess the cancer risk in children and adolescents following exposure to low dose ionising radiation from diagnostic computed tomography (CT) scans. Design Population based, cohort, data linkage study in Australia. Cohort members 10.9 million people identified from Australian Medicare records, aged 0-19 years on 1 January 1985 or born between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 2005; all exposures to CT scans funded by Medicare during 1985-2005 were identified for this cohort. Cancers diagnosed in cohort members up to 31 December 2007 were obtained through linkage to national cancer records. Main outcome Cancer incidence rates in individuals exposed to a CT scan more than one year before any cancer diagnosis, compared with cancer incidence rates in unexposed individuals. Results 60 674 cancers were recorded, including 3150 in 680 211 people exposed to a CT scan at least one year before any cancer diagnosis. The mean duration of follow-up after exposure was 9.5 years. Overall cancer incidence was 24% greater for exposed than for unexposed people, after accounting for age, sex, and year of birth (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.24 (95% confidence interval 1.20 to 1.29); P<0.001). We saw a dose-response relation, and the IRR increased by 0.16 (0.13 to 0.19) for each additional CT scan. The IRR was greater after exposure at younger ages (P<0.001 for trend). At 1-4, 5-9, 10-14, and 15 or more years since first exposure, IRRs were 1.35 (1.25 to 1.45), 1.25 (1.17 to 1.34), 1.14 (1.06 to 1.22), and 1.24 (1.14 to 1.34), respectively. The IRR increased significantly for many types of solid cancer (digestive organs, melanoma, soft tissue, female genital, urinary tract, brain, and thyroid); leukaemia, myelodysplasia, and some other lymphoid cancers. There was an excess of 608 cancers in people exposed to CT scans (147 brain, 356 other solid, 48 leukaemia or myelodysplasia, and 57 other lymphoid). The absolute excess incidence rate for all cancers combined was 9.38 per 100 000 person years at risk, as of 31 December 2007. The average effective radiation dose per scan was estimated as 4.5 mSv. Conclusions The increased incidence of cancer after CT scan exposure in this cohort was mostly due to irradiation. Because the cancer excess was still continuing at the end of follow-up, the eventual lifetime risk from CT scans cannot yet be determined. Radiation doses from contemporary CT scans are likely to be lower than those in 1985-2005, but some increase in cancer risk is still likely from current scans. Future CT scans should be limited to situations where there is a definite clinical indication, with every scan optimised to provide a diagnostic CT image at the lowest possible radiation dose.
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              20-year survival of children born with congenital anomalies: a population-based study.

              Congenital anomalies are a leading cause of perinatal and infant mortality. Advances in care have improved the prognosis for some congenital anomaly groups and subtypes, but there remains a paucity of knowledge about survival for many others, especially beyond the first year of life. We estimated survival up to 20 years of age for a range of congenital anomaly groups and subtypes. Information about children with at least one congenital anomaly, delivered between 1985 and 2003, was obtained from the UK Northern Congenital Abnormality Survey (NorCAS). Anomalies were categorised by group (the system affected), subtype (the individual disorder), and syndrome according to European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies (EUROCAT) guidelines. Local hospital and national mortality records were used to identify the survival status of liveborn children. Survival up to 20 years of age was estimated by use of Kaplan-Meier methods. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to examine factors that affected survival. 13,758 cases of congenital anomaly were notified to NorCAS between 1985 and 2003. Survival status was available for 10 850 (99.0%) of 10 964 livebirths. 20-year survival was 85.5% (95% CI 84.8-86.3) in individuals born with at least one congenital anomaly, 89.5% (88.4-90.6) for cardiovascular system anomalies, 79.1% (76.7-81.3) for chromosomal anomalies, 93.2% (91.6-94.5) for urinary system anomalies, 83.2% (79.8-86.0) for digestive system anomalies, 97.6% (95.9-98.6) for orofacial clefts, and 66.2% (61.5-70.5) for nervous system anomalies. Survival varied between subtypes within the same congenital anomaly group. The proportion of terminations for fetal anomaly increased throughout the study period (from 12.4%, 9.8-15.5, in 1985 to 18.3%, 15.6-21.2, in 2003; p<0.0001) and, together with year of birth, was an independent predictor of survival (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] for proportion of terminations 0.95, 95% CI 0.91-0.99, p=0.023; adjusted HR for year of birth 0.94, 0.92-0.96, p<0.0001). Estimates of survival for congenital anomaly groups and subtypes will be valuable for families and health professionals when a congenital anomaly is detected, and will assist in planning for the future care needs of affected individuals. BDF Newlife. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                March 2017
                18 August 2016
                : 103
                : 5
                : 341-346
                [1 ] Newcastle University, Institute of Health and Society, Sir James Spence Institute, Royal Victoria Infirmary , Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
                [2 ] NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Chemical and Radiation Threats and Hazards, Newcastle University , Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
                [3 ] Regional Medical Physics Department, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne hospitals NHS trust , Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
                [4 ] Paediatric Cardiology, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust , Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
                [5 ] Radiation Epidemiology Unit, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI , Bethesda, Maryland, USA
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Richard W Harbron, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 4LP, UK; r.w.harbron@ 123456ncl.ac.uk
                Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

                Funded by: British Heart Foundation, http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000274;
                Award ID: PG/15/1/31217
                Congenital Heart Disease
                Original article
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                Cardiovascular Medicine
                Cardiovascular Medicine


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