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Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 227–234 | Cite as

Female gonadal shielding with automatic exposure control increases radiation risks

  • Summer L. KaplanEmail author
  • Dennise Magill
  • Marc A. Felice
  • Rui Xiao
  • Sayed Ali
  • Xiaowei Zhu
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Gonadal shielding remains common, but current estimates of gonadal radiation risk are lower than estimated risks to colon and stomach. A female gonadal shield may attenuate active automatic exposure control (AEC) sensors, resulting in increased dose to colon and stomach as well as to ovaries outside the shielded area.

Objective

We assess changes in dose–area product (DAP) and absorbed organ dose when female gonadal shielding is used with AEC for pelvis radiography.

Materials and methods

We imaged adult and 5-year-old equivalent dosimetry phantoms using pelvis radiograph technique with AEC in the presence and absence of a female gonadal shield. We recorded DAP and mAs and measured organ absorbed dose at six internal sites using film dosimetry.

Results

Female gonadal shielding with AEC increased DAP 63% for the 5-year-old phantom and 147% for the adult phantom. Absorbed organ dose at unshielded locations of colon, stomach and ovaries increased 21–51% in the 5-year-old phantom and 17–100% in the adult phantom. Absorbed organ dose sampled under the shield decreased 67% in the 5-year-old phantom and 16% in the adult phantom.

Conclusion

Female gonadal shielding combined with AEC during pelvic radiography increases absorbed dose to organs with greater radiation sensitivity and to unshielded ovaries. Difficulty in proper use of gonadal shields has been well described, and use of female gonadal shielding may be inadvisable given the risks of increasing radiation.

Keywords

Automatic exposure control Gonadal shield Gonads Ovaries Radiation dose Radiography Shielding 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge Eatrice Hinton, RT, and Colleen Flowers, RT, for technical assistance and manuscript review.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

None

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Summer L. Kaplan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dennise Magill
    • 3
  • Marc A. Felice
    • 3
  • Rui Xiao
    • 4
  • Sayed Ali
    • 5
  • Xiaowei Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Environmental Health and Radiation SafetyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biostatistics and EpidemiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of RadiologyTemple University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

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