European Radiology

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 1795-1805

First online:

An inter-hospital comparison of patient dose based on clinical indications

  • W. TeeuwisseAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center Email author 
  • , J. GeleijnsAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center
  • , W. VeldkampAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center

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Patient dose is usually estimated for a single radiographic projection or computed tomography (CT) series. In this study, patient dose was calculated for predefined clinical indications (24 radiography, 11 CT). Members of the radiology staff of each of 11 hospitals were trained in dose measurement and calculation techniques. Based on clinical indications participants decided on imaging protocols and calculated cumulative effective dose for a complete examination. Effective dose ranged from <1 μSv to 0.6 mSv for examinations with radiographs and from 0.2 to 12 mSv for CT scans. Differences in the imaging protocols contributedd to a substantial variation in patient dose. For mammography, average glandular dose (AGD) was estimated for 32-, 53- and 90-mm compressed breast thicknesses, with a median value of 0.74, 1.74 and 3.40 mGy, respectively. The results presented here demonstrate that a pragmatic choice of dosimetry methods enables local staff to estimate effective dose. The inclusion of imaging protocols in the dose surveys provided a broader view on the variations in patient dose between hospitals.


Average glandular dose Computed tomography Clinical indication Dosimetry Effective dose