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Avoid repeated CT scans in mild COVID-19 cases; can cause cancer; warns AIIMS Director

BusinessToday.In     May 4, 2021

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr. Randeep Guleria has warned against going for repeated CT scans in mild COVID-19 cases. Dr. Guleria added it can end up doing more harm than good and has side effects.

He mentioned that people are going for a CT scan the moment they find out that they are COVID-19 positive, adding that misuse of CT scans and biomarkers may cause damage.

"One CT scan is equivalent to 300-400 chest x-rays. According to data, repeated CT scans in younger age groups increase the risk of cancer in later life. Exposing yourself to radiation, again and again, may cause damage. So, there is no point in doing a CT scan in mild COVID-19 if the oxygen saturation is normal," Guleria explained.

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The AIIMS chief cited a study and said that both in mild and asymptomatic cases, a CT scan is likely to show patches that go away on their own without any treatment. He advised that CT scans can be done in moderate cases when hospitalised, adding that if people have a doubt, they should go for a chest x-ray.

While speaking about biomarkers used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition, Guleria said, "If one is COVID positive with mild symptoms then there is no need to go for blood tests, CPC or LDH as these will only create a panic reaction. These biomarkers are acute phase reactants which will increase with inflammation in your body."

Guleria also explained that steroids need not be taken in a mild stage as it can lead to severe pneumonia which can spread to the lungs.

"Some patients take steroids in the early part of the disease which increases viral replication. Taking high-dose steroids in mild cases may lead to severe viral pneumonia. Steroids should be taken in moderate stage and as advised by doctors," he said.

Edited with PTI inputs

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