Cumulative radiation exposure is associated with increased risk of malignancy. This is important in cystic fibrosis (CF) as frequent imaging is required to monitor disease progression and diagnose complications | BMJ Open
Previous estimates of cumulative radiation are outdated as the imaging was performed on older equipment likely to deliver higher radiation. Our objectives were to determine the radiation dose delivered to children during common radiological investigations using modern equipment and to identify the number of such investigations performed in a cohort of children with CF to calculate their cumulative radiation exposure.
The mean EED for the common radiological investigations varied according to age. The range was 0.01–0.02 mSv for chest X-rays, 0.03–0.11 mSv for abdominal X-rays, 0.57–1.69 mSv for CT chest, 2.9–3.9 mSv for abdominal and pelvic CT, 0.20–0.21 mSv for sinus CT and 0.15–0.52 mSv for fluoroscopy-guided procedures. The mean EED was three to five times higher for helical compared with axial chest CT scans. The mean annual cumulative EED for our cohort of children with CF was 0.15 mSv/year with an estimated cumulative paediatric lifetime EED (0–18 years) of 3.5 mSv.
This study provides up-to-date estimations of the radiation exposure when using common radiological investigations. These doses and the estimates of cumulative radiation exposure in children with CF are lower than previously reported. This reflects the reduced EED associated with modern equipment and the use of age-specific scanning protocols.
Full reference: Ward, R. et al. (2017) Radiation dose from common radiological investigations and cumulative exposure in children with cystic fibrosis: an observational study from a single UK centre. BMJ Open. 7:e017548.