Discussion Author: Hugh M Dainer
Computed Tomography of the head is an excellent tool for the rapid preliminary evaluation of headache, trauma or neurological dysfunction.
Ease of access to CT scanning for problem solving must be weighed against the need to maintain radiation dose at the lowest necessary level (ALARA principle = "as low as reasonable achievable"). For a young adult (age 25 years) the estimated radiation organ dose to the brain from a head CT is 20 mGy. (1)
Familiarization with the appearance of normal structures can maximize the benefit of head CT and limit the need for repeat studies.
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