Some people worry that X-rays aren't safe because radiation exposure can cause cell mutations that may lead to cancer. But the amount of radiation you're exposed to during an X-ray is so small that the risk of any damage to cells in your body is extremely low.
However, if you're pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, tell your doctor before having an X-ray. Though the risk of most diagnostic X-rays to an unborn baby is small, your doctor may consider another imaging test, such as ultrasound.
In some people, the injection of a contrast medium can cause side effects such as:
- A feeling of warmth or flushing
- A metallic taste in the mouth
Rarely, severe reactions to a contrast medium occur, including:
Feb. 16, 2012
- Severe low blood pressure
- Anaphylactic shock
- Cardiac arrest
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- Bone X-ray (radiography). Radiological Society of North America. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?PG=bonerad. Accessed Jan. 3, 2012.
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- Rust G, et al. Pulmonary medicine. In: Rakel RE. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191205553-4/0/1481/0.html#. Accessed Jan. 4, 2012.
- Mammography. Radiological Society of North America. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?PG=mammo. Accessed Jan. 4, 2012.
- Keeping kids still during exams. American Society of Radiologic Technologists. https://www.asrt.org/content/ThePublic/AboutRadiologicProcedures/KeepingKidsStillDuringExams.aspx. Accessed Jan. 4, 2012.