Radiation Dose for CTA head

Hey all. CT Angio grams are great you get a nice 3d model of your vascular system in your brain at very high resolution. That is great for me because I have an unruptured AVM that need monitoring. So for 15 years I got a MRI with contrast every 2 years. Unfortunately it was very hard from them to monitor true changes with that. It got so bad that one radiologist said he did not see the avms so my dr switch me to a CTA, and there they were clear as day. I have about 4 separate areas. So I went to an appointment with him last week and I asked if we needed to stick to the every 2 year plan or switch to like 3 years because I was worried about radiation. He says given my condition we need to stick to the every 2 year plan because a lot can change in 3 or 4 years. I asked him about the radiation. He said its about equal to 3 chest xrays a year, but all I can find is on the cta for the heart which is about 16 mSv. A normal ct is 2-4mSv according to http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/index.cfm?pg=sfty_xray#part3

So my question is does any one know what the radiation level is for a cta head with contrast? I am getting one again soon. Really there is either option wise a regular Angiogram or a CTA and from what I understand the cta is less.

Treatment is really not an option unless it bleeds because tackling one area will change the dynamics of blood flow so its like a lottery if it would effect the other areas and treating all the areas at once will cause more damage than good. These findings have been backed up by an actual national neurosurgeon conference case study. When I was told I could have 100 or so neurologist and neurosurgeons look at my case and give the recommendations in the late 90s I could not past that up. The probability with me on a bleed is very low.

Hi Brian, I’m glad you posted this, Iv’e been trying to understand why on earth my doc want’s CT vs MRI. Wow that is very clear, I have never seen a CT so detailed as that. Is that a new state of the art CT machine or am I missing something?

Its called a ct angiogram (CTA). Its a specially designed ct scanner. Designed to map the vascular system. It is used mainly for heart but can be used for brain or any other part of the. It has a higher number of slices. However the resolution can be a life saver. I carry the cd with me so I will have the scans available if I have to go to the hospital.

I think they have 2 or 3 in Georgia now. Im going to Emory hospital for mine. Need to schedule it..