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Tomografías en niños podrían triplicar riesgo de cáncer cerebral

Tomografías en niños podrían triplicar riesgo de cáncer cerebral

Exponer a un niño a la radiación nuclear de dos o tres tomografías computarizadas (TC) de la cabeza puede triplicar su riesgo de desarrollar cáncer cerebra

Tomografías en niños podrían triplicar riesgo de cáncer cerebral
Por: Reuters
07 de Junio de 2012
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Exponer a un niño a la radiación nuclear de dos o tres tomografías computarizadas (TC) de la cabeza puede triplicar su riesgo de desarrollar cáncer cerebral más adelante en la vida, según un estudio de 20 años de duración publicado el jueves.


La investigación también reveló que un niño expuesto a la radiación acumulada de entre cinco y 10 TC es tres veces más propenso que un chico sin esa exposición a desarrollar leucemia. Si bien el riesgo absoluto de desarrollar cánceres luego de una TC aún es pequeño, los investigadores dijeron que las dosis de radiación deberían ser mantenidas al mínimo posible y usarse otra opción cuando se pueda. "Es bien sabido que la radiación puede causar cáncer, pero existe un debate científico sobre si las dosis de radiación relativamente bajas, como aquellas recibidas de TC, aumentan los riesgos de cáncer y, si es así, de qué magnitud son esos riesgos", dijo la investigadora Amy Berrington de Gonzalez.


"El nuestro es el primer estudio que brinda evidencia directa de una relación (...) y también pudimos cuantificar ese riesgo", agregó la experta del Instituto Nacional del Cáncer, parte de los Institutos Nacionales de Salud de Estados Unidos, que trabajó en el estudio con colegas de Gran Bretaña y Canadá. La TC es una técnica de diagnóstico que suele usarse en los niños con posibles lesiones en el cabeza.


El riesgo de desarrollar cáncer proviene de la radiación ionizante usada en las TC. El riesgo de mayor en los niños, que son más sensibles a la radiación que los adultos. Una alternativa a la TC es el ultrasonido, que no incluye radiación, pero es menos preciso. En el estudio actual, publicado en la revista médica The Lancet, investigadores estudiaron casi a 180.000 pacientes que se habían sometido a TC entre 1985 y el 2002 en un hospital británico.


El equipo extrajo la cantidad y tipos de TC de los registros y estimó la dosis de radiación absorbida por el cerebro y la médica espinal. Esos datos se cruzaron con los casos de cáncer y muertes del Registro Nacional del Servicio de Salud del Reino Unido entre 1985 y el 2008. Un total de 74 de 178.604 pacientes fueron diagnosticados con leucemia y 135 de 176.587 fueron diagnosticados con cáncer cerebral. Por su parte, David Spiegelhalter, experto en comprensión del riesgo de la Cambridge University que no participó directamente de la investigación, dijo que los resultados deben ser puestos en contexto.


"Este estudio sugiere que hay alrededor de 1 en 10.000 posibilidades de que una persona joven desarrolle leucemia por una TC en los próximos 10 años", señaló en un comentario. "Esto es importante, pero una TC puede ser aún más importante por la evaluación que debe realizarse", agregó Spiegelhalter.


 


 

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