The Risk of Carcinogenesis From Radiographs
to Pediatric Orthopaedic Patients

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   J Pediatr Orthop 2000 ;   20 (2) Mar-Apr:   251254

Bone CM, Hsieh GH

Shriners Hospital for Children,
Spokane, Washington, USA

This study set out to determine whether cumulative radiograph exposure of children significantly increases their risk of radiation-induced carcinogenesis or hereditary defects. Records of children treated for idiopathic scoliosis, hip dysplasia, or leg-length discrepancy between 1980 and 1993 at the Shriners Hospital in Spokane, WA, were retrospectively reviewed. Total radiation and organ dose exposures were calculated using information from individual radiology reports. Surgically treated idiopathic scoliosis patients had the largest total radiation skin entrance and organ dose exposures. This group's risks for developing leukemia, breast cancer, or a heritable defect, respectively, were 0.8%, 2.1%, and 3.0% higher than baseline risks. The other treatment groups had increased carcinogenic risks of <1%. The use of serial radiographs during the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis, hip dysplasia, and leg-length discrepancy appears relatively safe. The increased risk of carcinogenesis or hereditary defects in these patients is minimal.

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