Introduction: Computed tomography (CT) is one of the most widely used diagnostic procedures in modern medicine. Despite many technical improvements, CT still exposes patients to significantly higher doses of radiation than other methods of diagnostic imaging. The presented analysis of the number of CT scans performed in Poland in 2022 aims to designate priorities in the process of optimising radiation protection and makes it possible to identify those examinations and patient groups for which action is particularly justified.
Material and methods: The data presented is based on an analysis of the National Health Fund (NHF) database of medical services reimbursed in 2022. According to the NHF data, approximately 5.1 million CT examinations were performed. The coding of reimbursed medical procedures used by the NHF in 2022 included 45 different CT procedures.
Results: The highest ratio of the number of examinations performed to the number of patients was found in the age group 59-75 years (average 1.35). This ratio varied according to examination type and was closest to 1 for spine and extremities examinations (between 1.1 and 1.2 on average). Irrespective of patients’ age and type of examination, the proportion of female and male patients fluctuates around 50%. Approximately 82% of head and neck examinations are single-phase CTs. Examinations with two or more phases account for about 17% and less than 1%, respectively.
Conclusions: Over the past 10 years, both the number of CT scanners and the number of annually performed scans have doubled. Relative to the population size, this is a rate of about 22 scanners per one million people, an average level for European countries, ranging from a maximum of around 37 for Italy and Germany to around 20 for France, Spain, and Romania, according to Eurostat data.