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December 8, 2009 - FDA Widens Probe of CT Scanners

Hospitals nationwide could inadvertently be exposing people to excessive doses of radiation during CT brain scans, U.S. investigators said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has widened its probe after reports of excessive radiation at three Los Angeles hospitals and one in Alabama, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The reports involved scanners made by General Electric and Toshiba.

"Given the fact that we are dealing with two manufacturers and multiple institutions, we wouldn't be surprised" if problems exist elsewhere, said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, head of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

So far, the FDA is investigating CT brain scan machines at Huntsville Hospital in Alabama and at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Los Angeles County.

A spokeswoman for Toshiba said the company was cooperating with investigators, while a spokesman for General Electric said the company had detected no malfunctions with its CT scanners.

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