Question: Are there any risks in CT scan or MRI for children?
Answer: CT head or MRI head may be indicated in situation when we need to exclude sinister causes of headaches (e.g. brain tumour, hydrocephalus, intracranial bleeding). CT head carries a small risk of radiation. It is usually ordered in the emergency setting to exclude intracranial bleeding (e.g. after a fall, traumatic injury), or in the acute situation when a child is unstable (as it can be completed within minutes and may not need sedation). MRI head is generally preferred for evaluation of headaches, as it does not carry any risk of radiation. However, in children who are cooperative or apprehensive of going through the narrow scanner, sedation may be required.
Dr Phuah Huan Kee
Paediatrician, Sub-specialty in Neurology
SBCC Baby & Child Clinic, Neurology Centre
3 Mount Elizabeth #12-14
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
Tel: 6732 2292/ 6397 6966 (Hotline)
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